India’s steel exports dipped by nearly 54 per cent to 3.6 million tonne (mt) for the first half of the fiscal (April to September).

The decline was caused by global recessionary trends affecting demand and the continued imposition of import duty by the Centre, making offerings pricier compared with competing countries. Exports in April–September period of FY21 was 7.8 mt.

Steel exports in September, at 0.6 mt, were down over 57 per cent, y-o-y, as per provisional data of the Steel Ministry accessed by businessline. Finished steel exports include non-alloyed, alloyed and stainless steel offerings. India’s steel exports have been on the decline since beginning of this fiscal. July was amongst the worst months when imports were higher than exports.

Non-alloyed steel

Non-alloyed steel offerings — the prime export item and the category hit hardest by the duty levy — fell 68.6 per cent to 2.3 mt from 7.2 mt in the year-ago-period.

The category continues to remain under stress with September demand witnessing an 11 per cent month-on-month decline to 0.1 mt (from 0.11 mt); and 92 per cent decline y-o-y. Non-alloyed steel exports were at 1.22 mt in September 2021.

“Stress in demand continues as it is evident from a continued slowdown in non-alloyed steel demand for September. The category continues to be hit,” an Indian steel mill owner said.

Month-on-month numbers

According to Steel Ministry data finished steel exports grew 27 per cent in September over August (0.6 mt versus 0.45 mt). But numbers were driven by alloyed and stainless steel offerings.

Alloyed and stainless steel exports saw a 39.6 per cent rise month-on-month (September versus August) to 0.5 mt (from 0.34 mt); and 263 per cent increase y-o-y (from 0.131 mt). The alloyed and stainless steel offerings saw a 135 per cent rise in H1 FY23 to 1.3 mt (versus 0.6 mt in H1FY21).