India became the fourth-largest producer of crude steel in the world in 2012, compared to its No. 8 position in 2003, according to a statement of facts and figures released by the Indian government’s Steel Ministry at year-end.
The year-end report also predicted that the way the sector was moving, India could well end up becoming the second-largest producer of crude steel in the world by 2015.
Capacity for crude steel production expanded from 51.2 million tons per year in 2005-06 to 89.3 mtpa in 2011-12. Crude steel production grew at 8 percent annually from 46.5 million tons in 2005-06 to 73.79 million tons in 2011-12.
The government release also stated that 301 memorandums of understanding were signed with various states, which would entail the deployment of a planned capacity of 486.6 million tons. India, the government said, also continued to maintain its lead position as the world’s largest producer of direct reduced iron (DRI) or sponge iron.
India’s steel sector contributes to nearly 2 percent of the GDP and employs over half a million people.
In 2011-12, the per capita steel consumption also went up to 59 kilograms, which compared to 38 kgs in 2005-06; this is being seen as a decent rise. Production for sale of finished steel stood at 73.4 million tons during 2011-12 as against 46.6 million tons in 2005-06, an average annual growth of 7.9 percent. Real consumption of finished steel has grown at a 9.4 percent rate during the last six years.
India’s domestic real steel consumption was at 70.9 million tons and increased by 6.8 percent on a year-on-year basis. On the other hand, India was a net importer of finished steel in 2011-12. Exports of finished steel during 2011-12 stood at about 4 million tons, while imports during 2011-12 stood at 6.8 million tons.