India’s finished steel production in Feb 2020 rose by 3.4pc to 8.56 mn mt, from Feb 2019. Steel Authority of India (Sail) became the largest producer with 1.16mn mt of steel, up by 5.7pc from the prior year.
Demand for finished steel in the overseas market was driven by new infrastructure and real estate projects and India exported 7.06mn mt in the period April 2019- Feb 2020, which rose by 35.3pc from the prior-year period.
Finished steel markets were disrupted in January and February due to the COVID-19 outbreak and exports from India in the period declined by 17.3 pc to 517,000 mt.
Indian crude steel production declined by 1.4pc in Feb 2020 to 9.29mn mt, from Feb 2019. Sail was the major producer of crude steel with 1.43mn mt produced in February. Second largest producer was Tata Steel with 1.10mn mt.
Production of pig iron declined by 20.7pc in February to 427,000 mt from Feb 2019. Pig iron was largely used by domestic manufactures for their integrated plants. Closure of Monnet Ispat and NINL, two major producers, impacted production.
Demand for finished steel is likely to remain healthy in March as steel procurement for government projects will be done before the year ending March 31, to avoid budget lapses. Finished steel demand, however, will be subdued in April and discounts could be offered for bulk deals, according to a Davis Index source in Sail.