China's stainless steel industry resilient: industry insiders
The Chinese market for stainless steel shows resilience and is brimming with opportunities, despite the disruption that COVID-19 has brought to the global stainless steel industry, according to industry insiders.
As the world's largest stainless steel producer and consumer, China saw its output rise 1.64 percent year on year to over 30.6 million tonnes in 2021, and the apparent consumption ticked up 1.92 percent year on year to about 26.1 million tonnes, according to participants at the first International Conference on Innovation and Development of Stainless-steel Industry.
The two-day conference kicked off on Tuesday in the city of Ningde, east China's Fujian Province, focusing on the high quality development of the global stainless steel industry.
In recent years, China's self-developed stainless steel products have been widely used in many fields, especially the chemical, auto, aerospace and medical industries, playing a crucial role in stabilizing the industrial and supply chains of China's steel industry.
Despite the large stainless steel output and complete range of varieties and specifications, China still falls short in terms of the core technology and innovation capacity. The industry is facing COVID-induced risks, compounded by high reliance on raw materials from foreign sources and international price fluctuations, industry insiders said.
"There is considerable space for upgrading China's stainless steel industry," said Frank Zhong, chief representative of the Beijing office of the World Steel Association, at the conference.
He said that, as the world enhances environmental protection and downstream market standards continue to improve, China's stainless steel industry needs to increase investment in innovation in terms of production technology and application, speed up green transformation, and continue to expand its global market share.