India’s crude steel production for April-June totaled 27.73 million mt, up 3.4% year on year, provisional data released Monday from the Joint Plant Committee showed.
The higher output for the first quarter of the Indian financial year, which begins in April, came amid a hike in domestic consumption at 25.19 million mt for the quarter, up 6.8% year on year.
Hot metal production for the three months was 18.71 million mt, up 3% year on year, while gross finished steel production was 34.13 million mt, a 1.8% rise from a year ago.
While Q1 production was mostly higher, imports and exports were in decline, with the former at 1.72 million mt, down 9.1%, while the latter stood at 1.02 million mt, a 27.3% slide against the corresponding period of 2018.
Another JPC report said India is likely to be a net importer of steel for the next two years “as high-grade products from South Korea and Japan flow in tax free amid worries of escalation in supplies from China.”
JPC’s data for the financial year ended March 31 showed that imports stood at 7.84 million mt, while exports were at 6.36 million mt, up 4.7% and down 33.9% year on year, respectively.
Imports could rise once India joins the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which will open a door for cheaper imports from China.
The RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and six countries with which Asean has FTAs — Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.
State-run JPC is the sole body in India authorized to collect data on the domestic steel and iron industry.