∙ The stainless steel industry clearly demonstrates the economic emergence of Asia. Stainless steel slab production in Asia surged by 35%p from 42% in 2000 to 77% in 2017. The surge is backed by China, India, and the ASEAN nations. The Asian stainless steel market has five characteristics: 1) high growth potential, 2) influence of China’s NPI mills, 3) growing complexity of nickel market, 4) spread of regulation, and 5) restructuring and consolidation.
∙ The Asian stainless steel industry is facing unprecedented challenges, because it can neither seek growth as ROI and cost advantages are uncertain, nor give up the market due to increasing demand. To overcome such challenges, it should seek both cost competitiveness and differentiated strategies.