Steel behemoth SAIL’s market share in domestic consumption has been declining since 2013-14, Parliament was informed today.
India consumed 6.8 million tonnes (MT) of the metal in 2013-14, 7.02 MT in 2014-15 and 7.27 MT in 2015-16, as per data presented by Steel Minister Chaudhary Birendra Singh in a written reply in Lok Sabha.
Of the total demand, the ‘Maharatna’ firm accounted for 1 MT (14.8 per cent) in 2013-14, 96.71 lakh tonnes (13.8 per cent) in 2014-15 and 1.01 MT (13.9 per cent) in 2015-16, the data showed.
The public sector undertaking (PSU) produced 13.6 MT, 13.9 MT and 14.3 MT steel in 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 financial years.
India is the third-largest steel producer in the world with a production capacity of 118.20 MT as on March 31, 2016.
On the decline in SAIL’s share, Singh said that during 2014-15 and 2015-16, there has been a huge increase in import of steel by 75 per cent and 27 per cent, respectively, which has resulted in sharp decline of domestic steel prices.
“Declining prices have led to lower sales realisation for domestic steel producers, including SAIL. The fall in prices have led to cash deficit in the company, which is being met by SAIL by way of borrowings from banks and debt market,” he added.
The Indian steel industry is currently passing through a severe downturn due to dumping of products and predatory pricing by global steel players
with excess capacity, the Minister said.
“Government has taken various corrective steps to address the problems faced by the domestic steel sector and to provide level playing field to the domestic steel producers,” he added.