The per-capita consumption of steel in India has increased from 56 kg to 68 kg in the past decade. This progression reflects the ~7 per cent growth in steel demand in the last couple of years, according to Vikram Amin, Executive Director (Sales & Marketing), Essar Steel.
As India moves towards a consumption-based economy, the demand for steel is bound to grow, says Amin. The big question: At what rate might the steel industry grow?
Well, domestic steel consumption is expected to grow by 7 per cent during FY 2020, largely driven by the Government’s focus on the infrastructure sector, according to an ICRA report.
Saying 7 per cent is a conservative estimate, Alakesh Roy, Managing Director, Zamil Steel, says growth is more likely to touch 12 per cent on the back of expansion in factory orders and infrastructure spending. “Industrial demand, which was dormant for quite some preceding months, is now picking up and spurring capacity expansions in factories,” he avers. “Zamil Steel India is geared up to take up these anticipated growth avenues; it has augmented its production and service capacity to 100,000 mtpa.”
As demand for steel normally grows at 1.5x the GDP growth of the country, Amin believes 7-8 per cent growth in the next couple of years is fair to assume. He expects the infrastructure, railways, construction, auto, earthmoving equipment and energy sectors to generate decent demand for steel, while defence is also an emerging major demand driver.
“We project 7 to 10 per cent growth in the consumption of steel in the years to come,” says Nikhil Bothra, Director, Epack Polymers.
“If GDP grows at 7 per cent, the pre-engineered steel building industry should see double-digit growth,” says S Krishnakumar, Chief Executive-Building Solutions, Everest Industries, calling steel the new boom in construction.
“We are optimistic about growth, but to be conservative we agree with ICRA’s projection,” says Idris Rajkotwala, Executive Director, United Access Floors. “We are expecting 8-9 per cent growth.”
“We’re not bullish in our outlook for the first six months of this year,” says Amod Barve, CEO, Volta Green Structures. “Demand for steel in India will see moderate growth because the country isn’t isolated from global events such as the slowdown in China, the trade war between US and China, the looming Brexit, and the impact of general elections internally. However, things will improve after September.”
- CHARU BAHRI