India: Performance of the Steel Sector in India
- Integrated Steel Producers — predominantly “Primary Steel Producers” converting iron ore to finished steel through various operations such as refining facilities, rolling facilities, etc. A steel producer having a minimum production capacity of 1 MT per annum of crude steel is referred to as ‘Integrated Producer’.
- Secondary Steel Producers — primarily mini steel plants that melt scrap or sponge iron to produce steel. Major iron ore rich states such as Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Karnataka house the maximum number of integrated steel plants.
States such as Maharashtra, Gujarat and NCR region, along with iron rich states dominate the secondary steel producers and rolling mills scene.
Steel production in India
In 2014–15, production of total finished steel (alloy + non alloy) was 91.46 MT registering a growth of 3% over 2013–14.
India remained the largest producer of sponge iron (or DRI) in the world with a total production of 20.38 million MT. The production of pig iron for sale stood at 9.7 MT showing a growth of 22% over the previous fiscal year.
Imports and exports of steel
India, a net importer of total finished steel since 2007–08 turned into a net exporter in 2013–14. However, during the last fiscal year, India again became a net importer. India can freely import and export iron and steel.
The government plans to set up four steel plants, the first state owned Greenfield projects in steel sector since almost last four decades. The Steel Ministry is facilitating setting up of ‘Steel Research & Technology Mission of India’ (SRTMI) in association with public and private sector companies to boost research and development activity in the iron and steel sector. Along with China, imports from Japan and South Korea continue to bog down the Indian market. Central government has announced to impose a 20% safeguard duty on import of certain category of steel. India imported 15 MT of iron ore in 2015 owing to ban on mining activities and declining global prices.