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India becomes a net steel importer again

Asia / Ferrous metallurgy
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Growth in domestic steel consumption in India is expected to slow but remain above 7 percent.

India becomes a net steel importer again

India's economy may face rising steel imports amid market fears that finished steel consumption growth in the 2018-2019 fiscal year will outpace production, the latest data from the Joint Production Committee showed.

India's steel consumption rose 7.5 percent year on year to 97.54 million tonnes, while production rose 3.7 percent to 131.57 million tonnes from April 2018 to March 2019. Typically, India's fiscal year starts in April and ends in March of the following year.

Steel imports for the year increased 4.7 percent year on year to 7.83 million tons, while exports fell 33.9 percent to 6.36 million tons. As a result, India again became a net importer of finished steel, staying for two years as a net exporter.

“India is one of the major steel economies, with consumption growing at a faster rate than production and will remain a vulnerable target to the influx of cheap imports,” India's Steel Ministry said in April. p>

Growth in domestic consumption is expected to slow but remain above 7 percent, the Indian Steel Association said, citing 7.2 percent growth for the fiscal years 2019-2020 and 2020-2021.

The slowdown will be driven by weaker demand in the automotive and consumer goods sectors.

In fact, the bulk of imports consisted of flat steel products such as hot rolled and cold rolled coils, as well as steel sheets, totaling 6.78 million tonnes, or about 86.6 percent.

In fiscal 2018-2019, South Korea exported about 2.94 million tonnes of flat products to India, accounting for 37 percent of total imports.

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