Kolkata (IANS) - Overtaking imports, India's steel exports jumped by 142% in April to 0.747 million tonnes (mt) as compared to 0.308 mt in the same month last year, said a Steel Ministry report. Steel imports were down by 23% to 0.504 mt in the last month from 0.654 mt imported in the corresponding month of the last financial year.
"Export of total finished steel was up by 142% in April 2017 to 0.747 mt over April 2016 and declined by 54% over March 2017. Import of total finished steel at 0.504 mt in April declined by 23% over April 2016 and also declined by 16% over March 2017. "India was a net exporter of total finished steel in April 2017," said the report of Joint Plant Committee.
India's consumption of total finished steel saw a growth of 3.4% 6.015 mt in the first of the current fiscal over the same period last year but declined by 22% over March 2017, under the influence of a declining supply side as both production for sale and imports declined in April 2017 over March. In April, production for sale of total finished steel at 8.43 mt, registered a growth of 8.7% over corresponding month last year.
The production was, however, down by 8.6% over March 2017. SAIL, RINL, TSL, Essar, JSWL and JSPL together produced 4.786 mt during April 2017 which was a growth of 11% over last year, the report said. The rest was 4.478 mt coming from the other producers, which was a growth of 6%, it added.
Meanwhile, the Union Cabinet, earlier this month, gave its approval to the National Steel Policy, 2017 which projects crude steel capacity of 300 million tonnes (mt), production of 255 mt and a robust finished steel per capita consumption of 158 kg by 2030-31, as against the current consumption of 61 kg.
According to the policy, the 300 mt of steel making capacity would translate into additional investment of Rs 10 lakh crore by 2030-31. CRISIL Research however said, in a report, that "the government's vision of adding 182 mt of new capacities over the next 14 years seems unlikely, given that only 60 mt of capacity was added in the past decade".
"Further, stagnant demand in past five years has impacted utilisation, and also aggravated the debt position of the steel sector," it said. The research agency expects 24-26 mt of steel capacities to be added over the next five years, leading to aggregate steel capacity to rise to 140-145 mt by 2021-22.