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Steel industry sees V-shaped recovery after output hit record low in April

With a recovery in domestic demand gaining pace, however, export dependence is gradually tapering off, even as it continues to be higher than last year.

Published: 20th August 2020 11:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th August 2020 11:33 AM   |  A+A-

Labourers load steel rods onto a truck at a steel factory on the outskirts of Jammu July 12, 2012. (File | Reuters)

For representational purposes (File | Reuters)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  The Indian steel sector has climbed its way back into a sweet spot, having recorded a V-shaped recovery on the back of improving domestic demand and benign input costs. India’s production of finished steel, which had fallen to a record low in April, improved sequentially to 6.8 million tonnes (MT) in July as against 6.1 MT in June.

On a year-on-year basis, however, production was still lower by 21.5 per cent, shows data from Joint Plant Committee (JPC), a wing under the Ministry of Steel. The Covid-19 outbreak led to a fall in steel demand in the domestic market forcing steelmakers to turn to export markets such as China, Spain and Italy to sell their products.

With a recovery in domestic demand gaining pace, however, export dependence is gradually tapering off, even as it continues to be higher than last year. Exports stood at 1.4 MT in July—11.4 per cent lower than in June. China’s share of demand, in particular, has dropped from 30 per cent in June to 24 per cent in July. As the world opens up for business, companies plan to further reduce export dependence.

DEMAND RISING

  •  Firms have raised prices by Rs 3,000/tonne in July, August
  •  July steel exports were 1.4 MT—11.4% lower than June
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