India turns net steel exporter in March

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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.

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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.

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Recently, the company won an export order to supply 12,000 tons of special grade rail blooms to France.

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