For nearly two years following the initial global financial meltdown, according to the CARE report, the macroeconomic stimulus measures had helped push demand and thus the prices of most metals upward.
All the major steel-producing and consuming countries had recorded robust year-on-year double-digit growth, consequently leading to an increase in global steel consumption by around 15 percent in 2010 and 6 percent in 2011.
However, since the start of 2012, the rest of the world save for India and China had witnessed a significant shift in momentum as the industry faced pressure of increasing overcapacity and a slowing demand situation.
Where China was concerned, the report said the first two quarters of 2012 had witnessed the Chinese economy losing its momentum after it recorded a drop in its Q1 GDP numbers to 8.1 percent. The Q2 GDP numbers were the worst in the last three years, with the economy growing by just 7.6 percent.
All this was bound to have an effect on its steel story. China accounts for a 35 percent share of the production and consumption of almost all ferrous and non-ferrous metals.
CARE is not far off the mark in its reading of the situation. If one recalls, most of the steel producers around the world had registered huge losses in the latter half of 2008 and in the initial quarters of 2009, except for India and China.
In 2009, crude steel production in India and China had increased at about 9 percent and 14 percent, respectively, on year-on-year basis. And while the steel sector in the rest of the world waned yet again in 2011-12, India and China continued with their growth, largely due to domestic demand.
If one were to look back in time where India is concerned, its steel story entered into a new development stage from 2007-08, riding high on the resurgent economy and rising demand for steel.
The government has been exhorting companies to push their production lines, at the same time bringing in policy initiatives that have generally helped push the per capita demand of steel in the country.