The British Stainless Steel Association (BSSA) held its Annual General Meeting in Sheffield, in April followed by a short technical forum and luncheon.
Simon Barron, Chairman BSSA for 2012 said that most of UK manufacturing industry was emerging from recession – all be it shakily. This was largely confirmed by comments from those present, despite the recent UK production statistics from the Office for National Statistics which indicated a second quarter fall of 0.2% in output growth in Q1 2012, which were considered suspect since they are within the margin of sampling error and did not reflect manufacturer’s experience.
A net increase in BSSA membership of 15 was achieved in 2011 and a further seven companies had joined so far in 2012 taking total membership to over 150.
Nigel Ward, MD BSSA, said that globally, 2011 had been a record year for stainless production with 32Mt made, but growth was strongest in China which produced 12.6Mt or 39% of world production. European (EU27) output of flat stainless was 4.3Mt, similar to 2010 but still below the record 5.4Mt of 2006. Supply of long products in Europe reached 1.2Mt up 100kt on 2010.
During the year, BSSA organised 21 workshops, a stainless steel specialist course and also held a conference – the first since 2008.
The Stainless Steel Advisory service has responded to 35000 enquiries since being established in 2000, 17% from BSSA members and 83% from potential end users.
The web site received 1.25 million hits in 2011, the majority of visitors looking for technical information, but also supplier and member information ranked high.
A report forecasting future use of stainless steel focusing on power generation (renewables and nuclear), bioenergy and carbon capture and storage was completed.