New Delhi: Price stability in the global market has helped Indian steel manufacturers clear stockpiles through exports, which bounced back in quantity by an impressive 36% in December 2008, though sales realisations remained a big worry for the industry.
Steel exports reached 2.29 lakh tonnes in December reversing from a negative trend in November when exports had dropped to 1.8 lakh tonnes from 2.4 lakh tonnes in October, official sources said.
They attributed recovery in exports to price stabilisation and withdrawal of 15% export duty on long steel products, besides restoration of tax refunds (DEPB) for the sector in the October-November period.
Though prices stabilising around $550-600 per tonne have generated some buying interest, sales realisations have remained quite low.
Prices had peaked to $1,200 per tonne in June 2008 resulting in a windfall for the industry.
However, the industry is a long way from seeing a revival in demand.
“In the midst of the global economic downturn, the demand for steel plummeted in the international market,” Steel Secretary P K Rastogi said.
For the April-December period, steel exports have declined by 24% to 2.7 million tonnes from 3.5 million tonnes in the comparable period of last fiscal.
With the automobile and construction industries reeling under the global downturn exports for the flat products dropped by 25% in April-December over the year-ago period.