In an early sign of economic revival, Tata Steel has reported 24 per cent rise in sales volume in domestic markets to 4.84 million tonne in December quarter against 3.89 mt in the same period last year while in Europe it fell marginally to 2.31 mt (2.35 mt).

Over all sales of the company including that of South East Asia has gone up by 14 per cent to 7.74 mt (6.81 mt).

Steel production at Tata Steel in India was up marginally at 4.46 mt (4.38 mt) while in Europe it increased to 2.50 mt (2.34 mt).

In a statement Tata Steel said the Indian economy remained weak with declining private consumption growth and low investment growth.

Domestic steel prices reached a nadir in October before improving from November onwards. Steel prices are expected to improve further with strong retail demand and ongoing restocking demand at the dealers’ ends, it added.

Globally, it said weakness in GDP growth and industrial output continued across major economies affecting the steel demand in December quarter. However, Chinese steel demand was buoyant despite higher steel production and its exports stabilised at about 5 million tonne a month.

Positive developments on the US–China trade talks along with China measures to kick-start economy are expected to provide support to global steel demand and push steel prices up, it said.

However, Tata Steel added escalating geopolitical tensions pose a major risk across economies.

In Europe, the overall slowdown coupled with seasonal weakness kept steel spreads under pressure as

declining steel prices offset the benefit of softness in raw material prices.