While the Chinese economy and Europe's energy distress have made the headlines, the biggest drop in stainless production this year, in percentage, was in the United States, where production decreased by 13.2 percent. With a decrease of 11.2 percent, European manufacturers also saw a decrease in their activities.
In volume, however, declining production of 1.3 million metric tons in China accounts for more than 70 percent of the global decline.
As a percentage, China produced 5.2% less steel in the first nine months of this year compared to the first three quarters of 2021. The rest of Asia has kept production almost flat, falling just 0.4% so far this year.
Worldsteel estimates, based on a 2015 study, that scrap metal makes up about 44 percent of the raw material consumed by stainless steel mills worldwide. Reston, Virginia-based US Geological Survey estimates that "recycled nickel in all forms accounts for about 52 percent of apparent consumption in US nickel and nickel alloy steelworks in 2021."