Mumbai: India’s export of steel will fall by a whopping 35% to 3.2 million tonnes during the current fiscal buoyed by healthy domestic demand, Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) said on Thursday.
“We believe India will remain a net importer of steel for the third consecutive year in 2009-10. We expect exports to fall by 35% to 3.2 million tonnes in the current fiscal,” the economic think-tank said in the August review of the Indian economy.
The domestic steel industry is already trying to lower dependence on the export markets mainly because of the spurt in domestic demand and slowdown in developed countries.
World steel production in the first three months of 2009 was 269 million tonnes, a decrease of 22.8% over the same period in 2008. The largest decline in steel demand was felt in the US, Europe and Japan.
CMIE said that healthy demand would lead to an 8% rise in imports to 5.7 million tonnes during the current fiscal.
The research outfit observed that the price of the long-term products would remain subdued till construction picks up post-September, while flat steel prices were expected to remain “range-bound” in the near term.
Private sector major Tata Steel recently reduced the prices of long steel products by Rs1,000-1,500 a tonne, while state-run SAIL and JSW Steel cut the prices by up to Rs2,000 per tonne from the beginning of the month.
CMIE, however, said that domestic steel production would go up driven by healthy demand from the construction and automobile sectors.
Coupled with the commissioning of 4.8 million tonnes of fresh capacity, production of steel in India would go up by 6.5% during the current fiscal, it said.