Steel imports rebounded sharply in April on improving demand from sectors such as construction and infrastructure.

Steel imports grew 64.2 per cent to 5.45 lakh tonnes in April 2012 over corresponding period last year’s 3.32 lakh tonnes. According to provisional estimates by the Joint Plant Committee (JPC) under the Steel Ministry, exports during April declined 2.2 per cent to 3.12 lakh tonnes against 3.19 lakh tonnes in corresponding last period.

Consumption of steel products, which largely remained sluggish at 5.5 per cent in 2011-12, has gained momentum at the beginning of current fiscal. Consumption grew 7.7 per cent to 5.6 mt in April 2012 as against 5.2 mt in corresponding last month.

Production during April 2012 registered a 5.3 per cent growth to 5.99 mt against 5.7 mt in corresponding last period.

Steel majors such as SAIL and Tata Steel expect consumption in the current fiscal to grow 8-9 per cent on the back of rising investments in infrastructure.

The World Steel Association has also predicted a rebound in India’s steel offtake in 2012 and expects it to grow at 6.9 per cent. In its recent short range outlook, WSA said India’s steel demand would grow to 72.5 mt in 2012.

Steel production in 2011-12 grew 6.6 per cent to 70.39 mt against 66 mt in corresponding last year. Consumption stood at 69.18 mt against 65.61 mt in the previous year. Exports during 2011-12 grew about 20 per cent to 4.13 mt against 3.46 mt, while imports were largely flat at 6.82 mt.

vishwa@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on May 9, 2012)
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