According to Indian Steel Minister, Beni Prasad Verma, during the first nine months of FY 2012, Indian imports of finished steel stood at 5.6 million metric tons against 3.5 million metric tons over the corresponding period last year.
Overall in 2010-11, steel exports stood at 3.5 million tons compared to 6.8 million tons of imports.
Currently, India is the fourth largest steel producer with a capacity of about 80 million tons, while China is the largest steel producer in the world.
Analysts say that India will emerge as the second largest steel producer by 2013 with an installed capacity of 120 million tons.
The economic boom in China and India has caused a massive increase in the demand for steel in recent years. After the economic reforms of the early 1990s, the Indian steel industry has conformed to global standards.
India has set a vision to be an economically developed nation by 2020. The steel industry is expected to play a major role in India’s economic development in the coming years.
Until 2010, the steel demand in the country was growing at an average of 10 percent, which was likely to exceed even 12 percent in the near future. However, global slowdown has decreased the steel demand.
The World Steel Association (WSA) has also confirmed recently that India maintained its position as the fourth largest steel producer in 2011, despite 5.7 percent output growth against the world average of 6.8 percent.
The WSA has said that while recording an increase of 6.8 percent in 2011 over 2010, global steel production hit a record 1.53 billion tons. On the other hand, India produced 72.2 million tons steel last year over 68.3 million tons in the previous year.
According to WSA, China contributed the highest to the global steel production at 695.5 million tons in 2011 over 638.7 million tons in 2010.