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Q1 steel consumption rises 12% at 14.9 mt; output up just 4%

Even though domestic production surpassed consumption, the April-June period saw imports rising by a whopping 74.9% to 2.6 mt as against the year-ago period, increasing domestic availability and putting pressure on local prices

Steady demand from automobile and consumer durables sectors saw steel consumption rising 12.2% to 14.9 million tonnes (mt) during the April-June quarter over the same period last fiscal, reports PTI.

Consumption was at 13.30 million tonne in the year-ago period, according to the provisional data released by the steel ministry. However, domestic production rose only by 4% to 15.08 mt in the reporting period as against 14.50 mt in the year-ago period.

Even though domestic production surpassed consumption, the April-June period saw imports rising by a whopping 74.9% to 2.6 mt as against the year-ago period, increasing domestic availability and putting pressure on local prices.

Steel exports continued to decline and went down by 15.1% in the reporting period to 6.25 lakh tonne in the reporting quarter.

Tata Steel reported 4.3% growth in volume to 1.26 mt. Public sector companies like Steel Authority of India (SAIL) and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam (RINL) saw their output going down by 3% and 2.2% to 2.36 mt and 6.76 lakh tonne, respectively during the reporting quarter. The figures could not be confirmed independently with the companies.

In June, steel consumption rose 9.5% to 5.08 mt against 4.64 mt in the year-ago period. Production during the month rose 4.1% to 5.01 mt this June over 4.81 mt in June last year.

Imports surged 73.2% to 8.9 lakh tonne during the month, while exports slid by 20.5% to 1.75 lakh tonne, revealing the slow pace of recovery in steel importing markets like the US and Europe.

Tata Steel and RINL reported 0.7% decline in production to 4.05 lakh tonne and 3.3% to 2.35 lakh tonne respectively in June. According to the data, state-owned SAIL's output went down by 7.5% to 7.79 lakh tonne.

The production figures could not be confirmed with the companies.

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