Will steel continue to boom?
Steel

Will steel continue to boom?

Recently, the Indian steel industry has witnessed major investments and developments. In August 2021, Shyam Steel Industries approved an investment worth US$ 95 million for brownfield expansion. The year 2021 has been a fantastic year for the steel industry. Some examples are- a joint venture between ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel with an investment of Rs. 85,000 crore (US$ 11.40 billion), JSW Steel planning to invest Rs. 47,457 crore in the next three years from June 2021, Arcelor Mittal Steel signed a Rs 50,000 crore deal with the Odisha government, Tata Steel BSL collaboration with FarEye to improve its digital transformation process, and so on.

Recently, the Indian steel industry has witnessed major investments and developments. In August 2021, Shyam Steel Industries approved an investment worth US$ 95 million for brownfield expansion. The year 2021 has been a fantastic year for the steel industry. Some examples are- a joint venture between ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel with an investment of Rs. 85,000 crore (US$ 11.40 billion), JSW Steel planning to invest Rs. 47,457 crore in the next three years from June 2021, Arcelor Mittal Steel signed a Rs 50,000 crore deal with the Odisha government, Tata Steel BSL collaboration with FarEye to improve its digital transformation process, and so on. Indian Government has also been taking various initiatives in this sector. In July 2021, the Union Cabinet approved the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for specialty steel, which is expected to attract investment worth ~Rs. 400 billion and expand specialty steel capacity by 25 million tonnes (MT), to 42 MT in FY27, from 18 MT in FY21. With the government aiming to increase rural consumption of steel by 2030-31, the road ahead looks promising. The Indian steel industry's performance fell in August 2021, with a drop in active trading activities across the domestic and international markets, when compared to the previous month. The production of crude and finished steel in August’21 was 8% higher than August’20 and 11% higher than in August’19, but consumption of finished steel was 1% and 14% lower than in the corresponding months of the previous two years, i.e. August’19 and August 2020, respectively. Factors that impacted performance in Aug'21 i. Semiconductor scarcity hampered auto industry demand: The issues surrounding the supply of semiconductor chips at the start of CY'21 translated into a significant challenge for automakers. A few auto majors in India reported lower monthly sales in August'21, while a chip shortage resulted in reduced production numbers. ii. Farm equipment manufacturers reported poor sales: Unlike their peers, farm equipment manufacturers encountered similar difficulties and reported lower sales numbers in August'21 compared to July. Other factors, such as the uneven distribution of monsoon rain and lingering concerns about the third Covid-19 wave in the country, can be held responsible for the sales slump. iii. Reduced demand from overseas markets: In August, most overseas countries received only a few inquiries. The availability of less expensive alternatives, as well as the strict lockdown on Covid-19 cases, weighed on demand from Vietnamese importers. Meanwhile, summer vacations and depleted quarterly quotas resulted in decreased trade in the European market. Furthermore, since mid-May, speculations about a China export tax levy have kept the majority of overseas trade participants at bay. iv. Steel demand generally slows during the monsoon season due to a slowdown in construction activities,the largest user industry accounting for 70% of total demand. Global crude steel production increased by 3.3 % in July 2021 compared to July 2020, with all major steel producing countries reporting increased output except China. Export-Import Scenario: Exports of finished steel increased steadily until July 2021, but then fell m-o-m in August 2021. Due to exhausted quotas for India in the European Union and speculations about China's steel export tax policy, demand from the overseas market remained weak. Vietnam, Italy, Hong Kong, Belgium, and Turkey had a higher share of total steel exports from India in August 2021 than in August 2020. However, the UAE's and Nepal's share of India's total steel exports fell during the same time period. Finished steel exports climbed steadily until July 2021, but then fell m-o-m in August 2021. Due to exhausted quotas for India in the European Union and suspicions about China's steel export tax policy, demand from the outside market remained poor. Furthermore, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Vietnam, one of the largest importers of finished steel from India, has reduced purchasing. As a result, finished steel exports fell by 12% year on year in August 2021. Steel price scenario: Despite a small increase in global steel prices, steel prices have fallen from their historical highs of July 2021. In the week ending July 30, Indian HRC trade prices jumped Rs 1,400/t w-w to Rs 65,000-66,000/t (in Mumbai), as consumers resumed buying in expectation of price hikes in August 2021. The recent dramatic drop in iron ore prices may ultimately put an end to the steel pricing surge. Steel consumption is expected to expand 5.8% in 2021 to 1.874 billion mt, up from just 0.2 % in 2020, according to the World Steel Association, after the overall impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the sector turned out to be less than expected. The sector's recovery from the impact of COVID-19's production stoppages and lockdowns, on the other hand has been bigger and faster than initially expected. In September 2021, the global manufacturing scenario was distinguished by supply chain disruptions and material shortages, which worked their way up through growing input costs and output charges, and while manufacturing output expanded, it was among the slowest during the current 15-month boom sequence.

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