Indian steel consumption up by 7% in April-July

Steel consumption in India in the first four months of the financial year ending March 31, 2013, grew by 6.7%, according to data from the country’s ministry of steel.

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The growth in steel consumption comes despite the Indian government announcing a cut in its GDP growth forecast from 7.5-8% to 6.7%, while the Reserve Bank of India has predicted growth of 6.5%.

Data released by the Joint Plant Committee (JPC), an arm of the country’s ministry of steel, pegged apparent finished steel consumption in April-July 2012 at 26.324 million tonnes – a figure that includes previous stocks.

This represents an increase of 6.7% compared with 24.674 million tonnes in the corresponding period last year.

Indian finished steel production in the four months to July increased by 3.3% year-on-year to 25.015 million tonnes, compared with 24.215 million tonnes.

According to JPC data, government-owned steel producer Steel Authority of India (Sail) was the biggest steel producer over the April-July period at 3.296 million tonnes, a year-on-year increase of 4% compared with 3.165 million tonnes.

Tata Steel’s Indian operations produced the second-largest tonnage of finished steel during the period at 1.922 million tonnes, against 1.784 million tonnes previously.

More than 59% of India’s steel production during the April-July period, 14.698 million tonnes, came from smaller integrated producers and mini-mills. This total was down by 1.9% compared with 14.983 million tonnes in the same period last year.

Export of finished steel by Indian mills during the period fell by 23% to 1.295 million tonnes, compared with 1.679 million tonnes in April-July last year.

Imports of finished steel in the same period increased by 36% to 2.561 million tonnes, compared with 1.882 million tonnes last year.