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Imports surged 23% to 7.18MT, putting pressure on domestic prices
Steel consumption rose 7.6% to 56.32 million tonnes (MT) in 2009-10 as against 52.35MT in the year-ago period, on account of rising demand from various sectors—including automobiles, white goods and construction.
However, production rose only 4.2% during the reporting period at 59.57MT over 57.16MT in the same period last year, according to provisional data obtained from the steel ministry.
Imports also surged by 23% to 7.18MT during the period, thereby further increasing the domestic availability of steel and putting pressure on local prices.
But exports continued to slide and fell by 28.7% to 3.16MT during the period on account of slow demand recovery in the primary market for Indian goods—Western markets—which are still to recover from the economic crisis.
Leading steel producers like Tata Steel and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam reported 10.5% provisional growth to 5.02MT, and 15.7% increase to 2.9MT, respectively, during April-March over the same period in the previous fiscal.
SAIL’s production increased a meagre 0.9% to 10.20MT against 10.11MT during the April-March period. The figures are provisional and could not be confirmed with the companies.
Moreover, in March alone, steel output rose 6.7% to 5.48MT over the year-ago period. Tata Steel saw output rising 6.4% at 4.6 lakh tonnes in the month against production of 4.35 lakh tonnes during the same month a year ago.
However, state-owned SAIL and RINL saw their March production surging by 32.6% to 1.26MT and 83.3% to 3.08 lakh tonnes, respectively.
Steel consumption in March increased by 6.8% to 5.45MT, over the same month in 2009.
In March, imports surged 35.7% to 5.66 lakh tonnes against 4.17 lakh tonnes last March, while exports nosedived 45.5% to 2.18 lakh tonnes from about 4 lakh tonnes shipped in March 2009.