Even as steel production is on the decline globally, owing primarily to falling Chinese output, India remains the only exception among the major producing nations. According to World Steel Association’s recent data, India’s steel production grew by an impressive 6.7% in the first four months of the current year vis-à-vis a decline of 1.3% in China, the highest producer by a wide margin and 1.7%, globally.
India, now the world’s third largest producer, produced 29.97 MT steel during the January-April period of the current year compared to 28.09 MT in the same period a year ago. China’s production fell to 270 MT from 274 MT a year earlier. Output in Japan fell by 3.7% to 35 MT during the period. Production in the US also dipped by 8.5% to 26.3 MT in the period. Global production came down to 536 MT in January-April from 546 MT a year ago.
In April also, India’s steel production growth remained in the positive terrain while decline in output in all other major producing nations. Production in China, Japan and the US fell by 0.7%, 6.1% and 9.8% respectively.
In contrast to the worldwide trend, India has been recording reasonable growth in production since last February.
During the same month, it moved one step in the world order of steel production surpassing the US. China and Japan are sitting on the first and second positions respectively. It will take some years before India becomes the second largest steel making nation, if the current trend persists.
Industry sources said contrary to the falling trend globally, steel demand in India is showing signs of improvement.
According to Joint Plant Committee, a unit under the steel ministry, India’s steel consumption grew by 3% in February, 3.1% in March and 7.1% in April. In its short-range outlook, WSA has also recently predicted that India’s steel usage growth rate would be the highest at 6.7% in 2015 compared to a decline of 0.5% in China, 0.4% in the US and 2.4% in Japan.