Top Stainless Steel Exporters by Country

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Global sales from stainless steel exports by country amounted to US$1.2 billion in 2016.

Overall, the value of stainless steel exports were down by an average -48.1% for all exporting countries since 2012 when stainless steel shipments were valued at $2.3 billion. Year over year, the decline for exported stainless steel was more modest at -13.4% from 2015 to 2016.

Among continents, European countries accounted for the highest dollar worth of exported stainless steel during 2016 with shipments valued at $949.1 million for a 79% share of global exports.

In second place were North American exporters via a 10.7% share closely followed by Asia at 10%.

Smaller percentages originated from Oceania (0.3%) and Africa (0.1%).

The 4-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix is 7213 for stainless steel in primary forms including ingots.

Stainless Steel Exporters by Country


Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of stainless steel during 2016:

  1. United Kingdom: US$402.9 million (33.5% of stainless steel exports)
  2. Sweden: $139.1 million (11.6%)
  3. United States: $120.7 million (10%)
  4. Italy: $89 million (7.4%)
  5. Austria: $59 million (4.9%)
  6. Spain: $57 million (4.7%)
  7. Germany: $51.2 million (4.3%)
  8. France: $46.5 million (3.9%)
  9. Belgium: $33.9 million (2.8%)
  10. Indonesia: $30.4 million (2.5%)
  11. Taiwan: $27.5 million (2.3%)
  12. India: $19.6 million (1.6%)
  13. Poland: $12.3 million (1%)
  14. Malaysia: $11.8 million (1%)
  15. Norway: $10.1 million (0.8%)

The listed 15 countries shipped 92.4% of global stainless steel exports in 2016 by value.

Four of the above countries increased their stainless steel exports since 2012: Indonesia (up 1,499%), Poland (up 375.1%), Malaysia (up 169.8%) and India (up 0.9%).

Those countries that posted declines in their exported stainless steel sales were led by: Taiwan (down -73.7%), Italy (down -72.2%), Belgium (down -60.4%), Germany (down -59.8%) and Spain (down -58.4%).


The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for stainless steel during 2016. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the surplus between the value of each country’s exported stainless steel and its import purchases for that same commodity.

  1. United Kingdom: US$366.9 million (net export surplus down -34.3% since 2012)
  2. Italy: $30.4 million (down -81.4%)
  3. Belgium: $17 million (down -67.1%)
  4. India: $16.5 million (up 195%)
  5. Spain: $7.8 million (down -84.3%)
  6. Norway: $7.6 million (down -51.1%)
  7. Denmark: $6.6 million (reversing a -$1.3 million deficit)
  8. Slovenia: $4.7 million (up 30.6%)
  9. Austria: $3.7 million (up 785.6%)
  10. UAE: $3.1 million (reversing a -$196,000 deficit)
  11. Australia: $2.8 million (up 60.5%)
  12. Thailand: $2.2 million (down -619.3%)
  13. Saudi Arabia: $1.8 million (reversing a -$2.4 million deficit)
  14. Hungary: $1.2 million (reversing a -$1.4 deficit)
  15. Estonia: $1 million (down -85%)

United Kingdom has the highest surplus in the international trade of stainless steel. In turn, this positive cashflow confirms the UK’s strong competitive advantage for this specific product category.


The following countries posted the highest negative net exports for stainless steel during 2016. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the deficit between the value of each country’s imported stainless steel purchases and its exports for that same commodity.

  1. Sweden: -US$71.7 million (net export deficit up 130.1% since 2012)
  2. United States : -$53.9 million (down -83.9%)
  3. France: -$49.6 million (down -29.1%)
  4. Malaysia: -$49.3 million (up 237.6%)
  5. China: -$48.9 million (down -72.1%)
  6. Portugal: -$31.5 million (up 14.8%)
  7. Japan: -$18.1 million (up 57.7%)
  8. Czech Republic: -$17.8 million (up 47.7%)
  9. Germany: -$16.6 million (down -14.8%)
  10. South Korea: -$15.4 million (down -63.9%)
  11. Netherlands: -$14.2 million (up 36.7%)
  12. Poland: -$12.3 million (down -26.9%)
  13. Mexico: -$11.8 million (down -41.6%)
  14. Nepal: -$10.2 million (up 4814.5%)
  15. Canada: -$10.2 million (down -40.2%)

Sweden incurred the highest deficit in the international trade of stainless steel. In turn, this negative cashflow highlights Sweden’s strong competitive disadvantage for this specific product category but also signals opportunities for stainless steel-supplying countries that help satisfy the powerful demand.


Stainless Steel Exporting Companies

Below are global stainless steel-processing conglomerates that represent established players engaged in the international trade of stainless steel. Each home country is shown within parenthesis.

  • British Steel Limited (United Kingdom)
  • SSAB AB (Sweden)
  • Nucor Corporation (United States)
  • Gruppo Riva (Italy)
  • Voestalpine (Austria)
  • Acerinox, SA (Spain)
  • ThyssenKrupp AG (Germany)
  • Vallourec (France)
  • China Steel (Taiwan)
  • Tata Steel Limited (India)

Searchable List of Stainless Steel Exporting Countries

You can change the presentation order by clicking the triangle icon at the top of the columns.

RankExporter2016 Stainless Steel Exports% World Total
1.United KingdomUS$402.9 million33.5%
2.Sweden$139.1 million11.6%
3.United States$120.7 million10%
4.Italy$89 million7.4%
5.Austria$59 million4.9%
6.Spain$57 million4.7%
7.Germany$51.2 million4.3%
8.France$46.5 million3.9%
9.Belgium$33.9 million2.8%
10.Indonesia$30.4 million2.5%
11.Taiwan$27.5 million2.3%
12.India$19.6 million1.6%
13.Poland$12.3 million1%
14.Malaysia$11.8 million1%
15.Norway$10.1 million0.8%
16.Denmark$9.9 million0.8%
17.Canada$7.8 million0.6%
18.South Korea$7.4 million0.6%
19.Netherlands$7.4 million0.6%
20.Slovenia$6.4 million0.5%
21.Czech Republic$6 million0.5%
22.Saudi Arabia$5.3 million0.4%
23.Singapore$5 million0.4%
24.Finland$4.3 million0.4%
25.United Arab Emirates$4.1 million0.3%
26.Australia$3.2 million0.3%
27.Hungary$3 million0.3%
28.Switzerland$2.8 million0.2%
29.Thailand$2.5 million0.2%
30.Vietnam$1.9 million0.2%
31.Portugal$1.8 million0.1%
32.Russia$1.6 million0.1%
33.Slovakia$1.5 million0.1%
34.Japan$1.3 million0.1%
35.Estonia$1.2 million0.1%
36.South Africa$936,0000.1%
40.Brunei Darussalam$619,0000.1%
41.Hong Kong$590,0000.05%
54.New Zealand$68,0000.01%
60.Costa Rica$24,0000.002%
75.Democratic Rep. Congo$1,0000.0001%
76.El Salvador$1,0000.0001%
78.Sri Lanka$1,0000.0001%

See also Top Cork Exporting Countries, Plastic Item Exports by Country and Top Aluminum Exporters by Country

Research Sources:
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on June 23, 2017

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on June 23, 2017

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on June 23, 2017

Wikipedia, List of steel producers. Accessed on June 23, 2017