India’s Steel Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan urged industries to increase the use of domestic steel to support the domestic industry. The minister rued that many sectors continue to import steel for various reasons. He reassured that the Steel Ministry will initiate programmes to help the sector and will soon implement the scrap policy.
Pradhan called upon all stakeholders of the steel sector to partner and ensure that the Indian industries consume only domestic steel. The mining industry, furnace associations, processing industry, integrated steel plants and the secondary steel sector all come together to take India’s steel industry to another level, he said in a virtual conference organised by the All India Induction Furnace Association (AIIFA).
Capital goods manufacturers in India depend on imports of steel machinery and components, especially from China, to cut cost and avail easy terms of payment. The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted economic activities in India, in turn, suppressing steel demand. Domestic steelmakers, especially the secondary mills and small producers have been unable to either restart or ramp up their operations due to weak demand from steel-consuming sectors such as construction and auto.
In April-May (FY2020-21), the steel industry in India was battered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Steel production dropped by 71pc to 5mn mt, while consumption dropped by 75.5pc to 4.01mn mt from the prior-year period. A 75.9pc surge in exports amid the pandemic, however, kept the wheels rolling, predominantly for major steel producers.
|India’s steel production in April-May 2020|
In FY2019-2020, India’s finished steel consumption breached 100mn mt mark for the first time. Domestic steel production was 102.05mn mt, up 0.8pc from the prior year. India exported 8.35mn mt finished steel, up by 31.4pc from the prior year and imported to 6.768mn mt, down by 13.6pc.