JSW Steel today reported a growth of 11 per cent in its crude steel production at 6.75 lakh tonnes in February amid issues like shortages of iron ore continuing to affect the company’s performance.

The company had produced 6.09 lakh tonnes (LT) crude steel in the corresponding quarter of 2011—12.

During the 11 months of the current fiscal, the leading steelmaker had reported a 15 per cent growth in its production at about 7.80 million tonnes (MT) against 6.78 MT crude steel produced in the same period last year.

Sajjan Jindal led JSW Steel had increased its production capacity in 2011 to 10 MT in a year at their Vijayanagar plant in Karnataka.

However, it has been running the plant at a lower than optimum capacity for more than a year and half now due to iron ore shortages as iron ore mining is banned in Karnataka and very few mines have got permission to reopen their operations.

JSW’s Joint Managing Director and CFO, Seshagiri Rao had said last week that “quality and availability of iron ore is a big concern for the company and we have no other options but to operate the plant at lower capacities. The present capacity utilisation is around 77 per cent.”

Company’s production of flat products last month was at 5.14 LT. However, company’s production of long products declined by 14 per cent in the month at 1.32 LT, it said.

Flat products are used for consumer durables and fast moving consumer goods sector, while long products are meant for the construction sector.

Shares of JSW fell 1.09 per cent today to close at Rs 700.15 apiece on the BSE.

(This article was published on March 15, 2013)
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