SHANGHAI–China’s goal to become a consumption-driven economy will lead to sustained demand growth for the global stainless steel market, said a top executive from the world’s largest stainless steel producer, Outokumpu Oyi (OUT1V.HE).
Despite analysts being divided over how long China’s economic rebound may last, “China is a growth engine for us and will become a profitable market in the future,” said Austin Lu, president of Asia Pacific.
Although Europe is currently the company’s main market, China promises to be an important source of revenue in the coming years, as a result of government-planned reforms aimed at shifting from an export-dependant economic growth model to one driven by private consumption.
China currently accounts for half of Outokumpu’s business in the Asia-Pacific region, according to Mr. Lu. A growing urban population and an environmentally friendly society would mean more demand for sophisticated raw materials such as stainless steel, said Mr. Lu, estimating annual demand growth of 5%-6% from China until 2020.
Recent data showed resilient growth in China’s economy, offering the central government the freedom to focus on structural reforms such as financial liberalization, measures to promote labor mobility and a push for green energy. Continue Reading →