India, the second-largest steel producer in the world after China, is looking to fulfill the global demand for steel after the coronavirus outbreak impacted Chinese steel production.

 

The impacts from the coronavirus outbreak will impact the steel industry globally, at minimum, for two to three years, according to Dharmendra Pradhan, union minister of steel in India, who has asked Indian steel companies to increase production to meet the dearth of supply created by the outbreak. But this might be a tall ask. India’s steel output stands at 106mn mt per year at present. Comparatively, China produced about 928.3mn mt of steel in 2018.

 

Pradhan said that a plan was being prepared to produce 10mn mt of special steel at a cost of Rs500bn ($7bn), which would account for 50,000 additional jobs in the sector. Additionally, he asked Indian steel companies to increase production, including special steel products, to take part in a larger portion of global market share. 

 

He also advised market participants to come forward for special steel production and to check imports, given that Japan and Korea exported finished goods to India after importing raw material from the country.

 

China reported that more than 70,000 people were infected with the coronavirus as of Monday. Most cases are in or around Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province and the location of the first reported outbreak. The outbreak, which emerged near the end of 2019 has already caused around 1,800 deaths and has spread outside mainland Chinam with around 780 cases reported in almost 30 locations outside central China. 

 

(US$1= Rs71.38 as on February 17, 2020)

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