The International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) has released preliminary stainless steel production figures, which indicated that the first-quarter production for 2009 was the lowest first-quarter production since 2000. In the first half of 2009, stainless steel crude steel production decreased by 26.7%, compared with production for the corresponding period in 2008. Despite this, the ISSF reported that stainless steel production was recovering strongly. The total production for the first six months of 2009 was 10.8 million tons, with all regions showing lower production volumes in the first half of 2009. Excluding China, which reported an increased production volume, all stainless steel producing countries were affected by the global economic downturn, with reduced production volumes of the different countries ranging from 10% to 50%.