How Indian Steelmakers Bucked the Global Steel Production Slowdown

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Cold-rolled steel

This is part 2 of a series on World Steel Association Short Range Outlook figures that recently showed only India and South Korea beat the global trend of falling steel production. The WSA report is based on data collected from 65 countries, representing about 98% of the global steel production. Check out part 1 if you missed it.

Indian steelmakers have beaten the global trend of slowing production, documented by the World Steel Association, because the Indian government initiated several measures in order to protect local industry.

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  • The imposition of anti-dumping duties on foreign competitors
  • Quality control norms
  • The government also imposed a 20% provisional safeguard duty for 200 days

The WSA also said India was 1 of the few countries to remain a “resilient” economy in the face of a  the global slowdown because of its commitment to “reforms.”

While the WSA pinned its hopes on a Chinese recovery next year and India, with its infrastructure growth story, the WSA added in its Short Range Outlook (SRO) forecast that developed Asian nations such as Japan and even South Korea were expected to show negative growth due to adverse structural forces weighing on their economies.

Tracing the history of the current global steel crisis, the WSA report pointed out that the performance of some key emerging and developing economies had started to deteriorate in 2012 due to “internal structural issues, lower commodity prices associated with China’s economic slowdown, and escalating political instability.”

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Some nations, such as Russia and Brazil, were experiencing a severe contraction in steel demand. Geo-political tensions and political instability in the Middle East, Africa and Ukraine continued to negatively impact global steel consumption. On the other hand, steel demand in India and Mexico and other countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions was expected to maintain growth momentum despite the adverse external environment due to positive domestic demand and progress in reform.

The author, Sohrab Darabshaw, contributes an Indian perspective on industrial metals markets to MetalMiner.

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