India’s finished steel exports increased to 10.78 million tonnes in 2020-21 as against 8.3 million tonnes in 2019-20. Between April and June of 2021, India exported 3.5 million tonnes and imported 1.1 million tonnes of finished steel.
Also, in 2020-21, while total production stood at 96.2 million tonnes, the consumption was 94.89 million tonnes. In the same period, while India exported 10.78 million tonnes, the country imported 4.75 million tonnes of finished steel.
This information was given by the Union Steel Minister Ram Chandra Prasad Singh in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha on Monday, July 19.
Top Steel Plant in Steel Production
Steel being a de-regulated sector, commercial decisions like exports are taken by steel companies.
In terms of production in public sector units, Vizag Steel Plant in Andhra Pradesh tops with 4,302 thousand tonnes, followed by Bhilai Steel Plant in Chhattisgarh with 4,244 thousand tonnes.
Top States in steel production
Odisha tops all states in production in private sector units with 17,934 thousand tonnes of finished steel, followed by Jharkhand with 12,169 thousand tonnes.
India’s total steel production
Presently the total steel production capacity of the country is 143.91 million tonnes. According to the Indian Mineral Yearbook, 2019, published by the Indian Bureau of Mines, there were 254 reporting mines in 2018-19, of which 35 mines were in the public sector and 219 in the private sector.
Government steps to boost the sector
The Government has taken several steps to boost the steel sector, including the introduction of the National Steel Policy 2017 and allowing 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the steel sector under the automatic route. According to data released by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Indian Metallurgical Industries attracted Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of US$ 14.24 billion between April 2000 and September 2020.
Road ahead for Indian steel industry
In 2019, the Government introduced a Steel Scrap Recycling policy to reduce imports.
The industry is also benefiting from the developments taking place in various industries. The new vehicle scrappage policy will help reduce steel prices, as the policy enables the recycling of materials used in old vehicles. On the healthcare front, major steel producers are now exceeding their production capacity to produce oxygen cylinders for COVID patients. In 2021, the Indian Railways is planning to purchase over 11 lakh tonnes of steel from the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) for track renovation and laying of new lines across the country.
In January 2021, the Ministry of Steel, Government of India signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Government of Japan to promote the steel sector through joint activities under the framework of India-Japan Steel Dialogue.