New Delhi: Leaving rivals in public and private sector gasping for breath, Tata Steel has stolen the show by registering a 12.6% growth rate in production during the fiscal that just ended.
The world’s sixth largest steel maker marched ahead of its counterparts like SAIL, RINL, JSW and Essar to produce 5.6 million tonnes of crude steel even as the others slipped into the negative terrain amid slackening demand.
While Tata Steel’s crude steel output increased by 0.6 million tonnes from 5 million tonnes in the year-ago period, that of state-run SAIL dipped by 3.9%to 13.4 million tonnes, as per provisional figures of the Steel Ministry.
In 2007-08, the country’s largest public sector steel maker SAIL had produced 13.9 million tonnes of crude steel.
However, hit by a slump in demand from automobile and construction sectors, not only SAIL, but also RINL, Essar Steel, JSW Steel and Ispat Industries saw their output slip into the negative zone in 2008-09.
The crude steel production of JSW Steel declined by 1.4%to 3.1 million tonnes as against the previous year’s 3.14 million tonnes.
Essar Steel too witnessed about 10%dip in output at 3.2 million tonnes from 3.5 million tonnes while Ispat Industries recorded the highest 19.3%fall in output at 2.2 million tonnes from 2.8 million tonnes.
Even as the leading producers barring Tata Steel reported a dip in crude steel output, India’s overall finished steel production in 2008-09 surged 0.6% to 56.3 million tonnes as against 56 million tonnes a year ago.
Commenting on the sector’s performance, Steel Secretary P K Rastogi said “all major and secondary steel producers did well, which shows there is a demand for the commodity in the system”.
“This is a good sign for the industry,” he said.
During the period under review, the country’s steel imports dipped by 17.8%to 5.7 million tonnes as against the previous year’s 7 million tonnes. Exports too plunged by 26.1%to 3.7 million tonnes from 5 million tonnes.
“The steel industry seems to be on a slow and steady path of revival with demand generating from consuming sectors,” a senior official of a private steel company said.