India has become the world's fourth-largest producer of crude steel. The country is slated to become the second-largest steel producer by 2015 as large public and private sector players strengthen steel production capacity in view of the rising demand.
The total market value of the steel sector in India stood at US$ 57.8 billion in 2011 and is expected to touch US$ 95.3 billion by 2016. Total crude and finished steel production grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.6 per cent and 4.2 per cent over FY08-11 to reach 69.6 million tonnes (MT) and 66 MT respectively.
Steel consumption is expected to grow at an average rate of 6.8 per cent to reach 104 MT by 2017 driven by rising infrastructure development and growing demand for automotives. The infrastructure sector is India's largest steel consumer, accounting for 63 per cent of total consumption in FY11. Attracted by the growth potential of the Indian steel industry, several global steel players have been planning to enter the market. The Government of India (GOI) has allowed 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in the sector through automatic route in order to attract foreign investments.
Latest figures by World Steel Association (WSA) has revealed that India's steel production increased by 3 per cent to 59.62 million tonne (MT) in the first nine months of 2013, as against 57.90 MT in the corresponding period last year. Moreover, the data showed that India's rate of production growth was the second-best following China among the major global producers.
The country's steel output grew to 6.54 MT in September 2013 from 6.24 MT during the same month in 2012.
JSW Steel has acquired Heidelberg Cement India's 0.6 million tonne per annum (MTPA)-cement grinding facility in Raigad, Maharashtra for an undisclosed sum. The two companies have inked the Business Transfer Agreements recently.
The deal marks Heidelberg's philosophy of moving away from less profitable assets and focussing on more strategic and competent areas. JSW Steel had acquired the company through the erstwhile JSW Ispat Steel, which is now its merged associate firm.
Leitwind Shriram Manufacturing has received a Rs 346 crore (US$ 56.18 million)-order for the supply and installation of machines from Neyveli Lignite Corporation for a 51 megawatt (MW) wind energy plant at Kaluneerkulam near Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu.
Leitwind, an India-European joint venture (JV) between Shriram Group and Windfin BV (formerly Leitwind BV) which makes wind electric generators, has recently completed a project encompassing supply, erection and commissioning of a wind farm of a capacity of 43.2 MW in Tadipatri in Andhra Pradesh for Orient Green Power Company Limited.
Leitwind has the onus to procure land, desig, manufacture, supply, install, test, commission the machines, and also take care of the operation and maintenance of farm. The order is to be executed over a period of 10 months.
Meanwhile, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) has secured five exploration licences for iron ore mining in African countries including Namibia, Gabon, Sierra Leone, Mauritania and one in South Africa. Navin Jindal-led company has already commenced assessing and checking the exact number of reserves in the region. It is also mulling over steel production and mining projects in Brazil, Indonesia and Mongolia. It has recently commissioned a steel melting shop and its allied unit of the 6 MTPA integrated steel plant at Angul in Odisha.
JSPL has a steel capacity of about 5.5 MTPA in India and 2 MTPA in Oman, outside India. It intends to increase its total steel capacity to 11.5 MTPA by 2015-16. The iron ore will also be used for its steel plant in Oman. It mainly exports steel in West Asia, Africa, Southeast Asia, Taiwan and the Arabian Peninsula. The exports contribute 20-25 per cent of total steel products.
Tata Steel is all geared – up to launch 30 new products in Europe in FY14. The company had launched 17 steel products in the European market in FY13. Also, Tata Steel has commissioned a 3 MT unit in Jamshedpur while it has spent Rs 10,000 crore so far for the first phase of another 3 MT plant in Kalinganagar, Odisha. The plant is scheduled to be commissioned in the second half of FY15.
Owing to its intense connections with core infrastructural segments of the economy, steel industry is of high priority and importance.
Shri Beni Prasad Verma, the Union Minister of Steel, has recently stressed on establishing Steel Processing Units (SPUs) in order to increase the demand of steel in rural areas and to enhance steel consumption in hinterlands. The effort aims at reducing the difference between the national annual consumption of 60 kg of steel per person and rural annual consumption of 10 kg per man. Setting up these factories will facilitate availability of various steel products in remote villages at reasonable prices. Also, these set-ups will open avenues for employment and rapid development of the region.
In such regard, the Minister of Steel laid the foundation stone of a Steel Processing factory at Koyle Jungle, Gonda in September 2013 for production of 1,00,000 tonnes of TMT. This factory will be set up by RINL, a public sector undertaking (PSU) under the Ministry of Steel. A similar unit was founded at Dimroni, Jhansi in August. Many such other plants and factories have been commissioned in Indian villages in 2013.
The point to be highlighted here is that all these units have been set up by PSUs under the Ministry of Steel in collaboration with private companies. The raw material for steel processing in these factories will be provided by the PSUs and the products will be sold in rural markets at cost-effective prices.
WSA has released its estimates which state that Steel demand in India is projected to grow 3.4 per cent in 2013, higher than the 2.6 per cent growth rate recorded in 2012. Moreover, in 2014, the demand is poised to grow at even a higher rate of 5.6 per cent; thanks to sped-up efforts to implement structural reforms. The leading international steel body expects India's total steel demand is to touch 7.4 MT in 2013 wherein the domestic expansion is pegged higher than the 3.1 per cent global growth.
Exchange Rate: INR 1 = US$ 0.01623 as on October 25, 2013
References: Media reports, Press Releases, Press Information Bureau