Provisional data for fiscal year 2020 from the Government of India show India became a net exporter of steel with an increase of 31.4% in March 2020.
A CNBC report claimed India’s steel consumption had touched the psychological barrier of 100 million tons (MT) this fiscal year.
What’s more — and this bit of information will send a cheer through the Indian steel sector — steel imports were down 13.6%, much of it because of a 22% fall in steel imports from China this fiscal year.
According to a report by the World Steel Association, No. 1 producer China had reported a drop in its output. It produced 78.97 MT steel in March, down 1.7% as compared with 80.34 MT in the corresponding month of 2019, according to data from the report.
India’s steel export is up by 31.4%, as it exported 8.3 MT of steel in FY 2020 against 6.3 MT in FY 2019, while imports are down by 13.6% at 6.7 MT against 7.8 MT in FY 2019. What has also happened was that the decline in steel imports from China by 22% in FY 2020, has led to an increase in Korea’s steel export. Korea accounted for a 40% share of India’s imports, followed by Vietnam at 28%.
The World Steel Association report further says India’s crude steel production was down by 1.5%, & finished steel production was flat at 109.2 MT in FY 2020 against 110.9 MT in FY 2019.
The country’s crude steel output declined 14% to 8.65 MT during March, according to the report.
According to the statement by the Indian Ministry of Steel, India’s crude steel production fell 23% to 7.38 MT in March as compared to the previous month, the Hindu Business Line reported.
COVID-19 has also impacted the country’s consumption of steel, which fell 6.6% month-on-month to 580,000 tons in March, according to the Steel Ministry.
Jindal Steel exports
In an interesting sideline, India’s Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (JSPL) has been exporting almost 80% of its steel production, the bulk of which is going to China, according to this report.
Recently, the company won an export order to supply 12,000 tons of special grade rail blooms to France.