Growth in India’s steel production was sustained during the April-October period of the current fiscal even as consumption failed to keep pace, thanks to rising exports and dwindling imports.
Data complied by the Joint Plant Committee (JPC), a unit under the steel ministry, showed India’s crude steel production grew by 8.1% during the April-October period of the current fiscal to 56.2 MT. Consumption growth during the period was just 2.8% to 48 MT. Imports fell by 40% to 4.1 MT, but exports rose by 42% to 3.5 MT.
In October, steel consumption went negative, falling 1.4% at 7.11 MT compared with the corresponding month last year. Compared to September 2016, consumption was down by 0.5%. Production, on the other hand, was up by 13.6% in October at 8.2 MT — a 14-month high. However, it was down by 2.5 % compared with the previous month.
Though there is an apparent huge gap between production and consumption, it has been largely neutralised by rising exports and falling imports. The industry is likely to produce more steel in the coming months,” a steel industry official said.
Main producers such as SAIL, RINL, Tata Steel, Essar, JSWL and JSPL together produced 32 MT steel during the April-October period of the current fiscal, clocking a growth of 16.3% compared to same period last year.
“Demand growth did not come up in the first half. We hope to see a pick-up in demand in the second half due to higher consumption from industrial and infrastructure sectors. There could be more growth from the consumer appliances sector,” said JSW Steel’s commercial and marketing director Jayant Acharya.
Even as exports grew by 42% during the April-October period over the same period last year and by a whopping 95% in October, India still remained the net importer of steel. Barring 2013-14, India has remained the net importer of steel.