As its steel production gap with Japan is on the wane, India is within the touching distance to become the world’s second largest steel producer. India had replaced the US in 2015 to grab the third slot in the world order of steel production. The difference between Japan and India has narrowed to just 3 million tonne in the first nine months of the current fiscal. During the same period last year, the gap was at 7 MT. Chances of India surpassing Japan in the current year itself looks more possible as India’s steel production has far outpaced Japan during the January-September period of the current year. While India’s steel production grew by 5.7% during the period, Japan had a negative growth, though marginal. Moreover, while India’s production is on the rise, Japan’s steel production has been gradually falling to stand at 105 MT last year from its peak of 111 MT in 2014. On the other hand, India’s production grew by 8 MT to 95 MT last year during the same period.
India’s growth in steel production was the highest last year among the major producing nations. India’s present steel-making capacity stands at 126 MT, which is likely to go past 150 MT by 2020. The government is targeting to add another 150 MT steel capacity in the country over the next 10 years. However, even after reaching 300 MT capacity, India is unlikely to grab the top slot in the years to come. China, which produces and consumes almost half of the world’s steel, has retained the numero uno position in the first nine months of the current year producing a little more than half of world’s steel at 638.7 MT. Global production during the nine-month period of the current year stands at 1,277 MT, up 5.6% over the corresponding period of last year. Asia produced 876.3 MT steel, an increase of 5.9% over the first nine months of 2016. The EU produced 126.4 MT, up by 4.1%. North America’s production during the January-September period stood at 86.7 MT, a growth of 3.5% over the same period last year. The Commonwealth of Independent States produced 76.4 MT, same as last year.