NANJING – China, a leading consumer of stainless steel globally, has huge market space for further expansion despite the challenges brought about by COVID-19 pandemic, industry insiders have said.

The country’s annual demand for stainless steel is expected to rise to 30 million tons in 2025, given its 24-million-ton consumption in 2019, according to participants at a recent forum on stainless steel and special alloy materials held in Jiangsu province.

At present, China’s crude stainless steel output ranks first in the world, accounting for more than half of the global market, according to the forum.

Despite the complete range of varieties and specifications, Chinese stainless steel products still lack innovation in terms of core technologies.

Statistics show that, in 2019, China’s stainless steel output accounted for only 2.95 percent of the country’s crude steel output, and China’s per capita consumption of stainless steel came in at 17 kg, far lower than the level of developed manufacturing countries.

Zhong Shaoliang, chief representative of the Beijing office of the World Steel Association, observed that environmental protection requirements are increasingly strict globally amid higher-level demands of downstream market users.

The industry needs to increase investment in innovative production technologies and applications, and continue to tap the potential market, Zhong said at the forum.

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