Apr-Jan steel consumption up 7.9%

Apr-Jan steel consumption up 7.9%

New Delhi: Steel consumption rose 7.9% to 45.93 million tonne during April-January in the current financial year over the same period a year ago on the back of steady rise in demand from sectors including automobile, white goods and construction.

Steel consumption during the corresponding period a year earlier stood at 42.59 million tonne.

However, domestic steel production rose only 3.3% during the 10 months ended January 2010 and crossed the consumption pattern at 48.81 million tonne over 47.27 million tonnes in the comparable period last year, according to provisional data of the steel ministry.

Meanwhile, imports also surged 18.5% to 5.9 million tonnes during the period, thereby increasing the availability of the commodity in the market and putting pressure on domestic prices.

But, exports continued to slide and fell 34.1% to 2.39 million tonne during the reporting period, reminiscent of the fact that the western market is still to recover from the economic crisis of 2008-09.

Leading steel producers like Tata Steel and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam reported 12.4% growth to 4.17 million tonne and 7.6% increase to 2.4 million tonne, respectively, during April-January over the same period previous fiscal.