Buoyed by higher demand from the end-use segments such as construction and automobiles, domestic steel consumption grew to 5.5 MT in April this year, up 7.1% compared to the same period last year.
Data compiled by Joint Plant Committee (JPC), a unit under the steel ministry, showed consumption of non-alloy steel grew by 5% to 4.8 MT while the consumption of alloy steel increased by 25.2 % during the month to 0.67 MT.
“The growth in consumption is high largely because of the low base. However, there is no denying the fact that the demand for steel is picking up in the country both from construction as well as the automobiles sectors,” said a senior official of a public sector steel firm.
Production of crude steel increased by 1.5% to 7.4 MT while the production of finished steel increased by 0.5% at 7.3 MT. Production by the public sector steelmakers such as SAIL and RINL remained in the positive terrain while Tata Steel and other producers were in the negative.
SAIL’s production in April this year grew by 1.4% to 0.84 MT. RINL’s production grew by 0.5% to 0.21 MT. Tata Steel’s output fell by 3.8% to 0.72 MT. Other integrated steel producers such as Essar Steel, JSW Steel and Jindal Steel and Power produced 2.06 mt in April, down 1.3% compared to the same month last fiscal.
The trend of rising imports, however, seemed to have been arrested a little though it remained high at 0.76 MT growing by 51.6% over the same month of the last fiscal. India’s imports of steel had grown by a whopping 71% in 2014-15. Steelmakers believe there was an urgent need to rein in imports further as “it is playing spoilsport.”