Steel sector shines in August; import falls, export and demand rise
August turned out to be a bright month for the over USD 100 billion Indian steel industry, with imports of the metal declining, while exports and consumption registering an upward trend.
After declining for 2 consecutive months, country's steel consumption rose, though marginally, to 6.97 million tonnes (MT) last month compared to July 2016.
Consumption in the world's third largest steel producer rose 2.7 per cent in August this year, against July, while on year-on-year basis the growth was one per cent, latest data by Steel Ministry's Joint Plant Committee (JPC) showed.
India's consumption of total finished steel saw a growth of 1.3 per cent in April-August this fiscal to 33.74 MT over the same period of last year, it added.
The demand had declined for the second-straight month in July 2016, falling over 7 per cent to 6.3 MT compared to June, whereas in June 2016, it fell 8 per cent to 6.8 MT over May.
However, on the brighter side, steel imports fell 34.5 per cent to 3.012 MT in April-August 2016-17 compared to the year-ago period, JPC data showed.
"Imports in August 2016 (0.619 MT) was down 36 per cent over August 2015 and by 2.2 per cent over July 2016. India remained a net importer of total finished steel during this period," it said.
Another silver lining for the sector was an increase in exports of the metal.
Exports of total finished steel was up 23.6 per cent in the first five months of this fiscal to 2.38 MT against the April-August period in 2015-16.
Outbound shipments in August 2016 stood at 0.68 MT, a healthy growth of 87 per cent over August 2015 and 26 per cent over July 2016.
During April-August 2016-17, crude steel production grew 7 per cent to 39.98 MT over same period of 2015-16.
Steel output in August 2016 stood at 8.18 MT, up 9.8 per cent over August 2015 and by 1.2 per cent over July 2016.