India’s steel consumption in the first four months of the current financial year grew by just 0.6 per cent to 25.72 million tonnes.

The country, where around 70 per cent of the steel demand comes from the construction sector, had consumed 25.57 MT steel during the April-July period of last year, data prepared by Joint Plant Committee showed.

JPC, a unit under the Steel Ministry, said the domestic consumption of steel during July was at 6.9 MT, an increase of 0.3 per cent over the same month last year.

Production of crude steel during the period rose by 0.9 per cent to 27.39 million tonnes compared to 27.15 million tonnes a year ago, JPC data showed.

Major producers such as SAIL and Tata Steel contributed nearly 15 million tonnes to the total production while mini and other producers did the remaining.

“In July 2014, the overall crude steel production (6.861 MT) grew by 0.2 per cent compared to July 2013,” JPC said.

Export of total finished steel was up by 29.6 per cent in the four-month period to 1.84 million tonnes over 1.42 MT during the same period a year earlier. In July alone, exports were up by 43.9 per cent to 0.413 MT.

Imports, on the other hand, rose by 20.5 per cent to 2.12 MT during April-July over 1.83 MT in the same period last year.

India had consumed 73.93 MT steel in the last fiscal (2013-14) reporting a 0.6 per cent rise over the previous fiscal. Crude steel production crossed 81 MT, up 3.8 per cent over 2012-13.