Steelmakers in India, largely dependent on domestic markets, are feeling the heat of firm raw material prices whereas large-scale mills are tapping the export market to maximize profits.
Small mill owners have raised this issue with the government as rolling mills are facing loss. Raw material prices are increasing and prices of finished steel are declining day-by-day.
The Federation of Industrial and Commercial Organization (FICO) written to the Prime Minister and urged the govt to check if the steel companies are jacking up prices artificially.
As per the secondary mill owners, only the fully integrated plants are managing to make profits as they have been allotted with a quota of iron ore and coal. Traders stated that mills continued to reap benefits but were unwilling to pass on the benefits to them.
Market participants believe availability of ferrous scrap is scarce in the domestic market, hence, prices are firm. Importing scrap is not viable at the movement amid high freight rates and delay in deliveries due to shortage of containers.
The current difference in the local and imported HMS 1&2 (80:20) is Rs4,000/mt, discouraging mills from importing.