‘Clampdown on illegal mining to help the sector in the long run’
The steel industry across the world has witnessed a challenging phase in the current year with declining demand for steel in many developed countries. World crude steel production during 2012 is likely to be marginally up from 1,518 million tonnes produced in 2011. This production level has been achieved with world steel production capacity hovering around 80 per cent, implying global overcapacity in the steel industry.
As per Short Range Outlook released by World Steel Association in October 2012, the apparent steel use in 2012 is expected to be 1,409 million tonnes against 1,381 million tonnes in 2011 showing a marginal growth of 2.1 per cent against growth in steel consumption of 6.2 per cent in 2011. For 2013, a modest growth of 3.1 per cent has been forecast with expected apparent steel use reaching to 1,455 million tonnes. Demand during the current year remained sluggish mainly due to the continued uncertainty from the debt crisis in the euro zone and slowdown in Chinese consumption.
China is the largest producer and consumer of steel. The slowdown in growth in steel consumption worldwide led to decline in prices of major raw material for steel. International prices for major raw materials — iron ore and coking coal fell by 15 per cent and 26 per cent respectively from year opening levels. Similarly, global steel prices also followed the downward trend till October 2012 falling by 14-15 per cent since January, though prices
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