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Iron & Steel Industry in India

January, 2018


India was the world’s third-largest steel producer in 2016.@ The growth in the Indian steel sector has been driven by domestic availability of raw materials such as iron ore and cost-effective labour. Consequently, the steel sector has been a major contributor to India’s manufacturing output.

The Indian steel industry is very modern with state-of-the-art steel mills. It has always strived for continuous modernisation and up-gradation of older plants and higher energy efficiency levels.

Indian steel industries are classified into three categories such as major producers, main producers and secondary producers.

Market Size

India’s crude steel output grew 5.87 per cent year-on-year to 101.227 million tonnes (MT) in CY 2017. Crude steel production during April-December 2017 grew by 4.6 per cent year-on-year to 75.498 MT.

India’s finished steel exports rose 102.1 per cent to 8.24 MT, while imports fell by 36.6 per cent to 7.42 MT in 2016-17. Finished steel exports rose 52.9 per cent in April-December 2017 to 7.606 MT, while imports increased 10.9 per cent to 6.096 MT during the same period.

Total consumption of finished steel grew by 5.2 per cent year-on-year at 64.867 MT during April-December 2017.


Steel industry and its associated mining and metallurgy sectors have seen a number of major investments and developments in the recent past.

According to the data released by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), the Indian metallurgical industries attracted Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) to the tune of US$ 10.419 billion in the period April 2000–September 2017.

Some of the major investments in the Indian steel industry are as follows:

  • JSW Steel has planned a US$ 4.14 billion capital expenditure programme to increase its overall steel output capacity from 18 million tonnes to 23 million tonnes by 2020.
  • Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Ltd for setting up of a 1.2 million ton per annum (MTPA) plant project at Vishakhapatnam.
  • Tata Steel has decided to increase the capacity of its Kalinganagar integrated steel plant from 3 million tonnes to 8 million tonnes at an investment of US$ 3.64 billion.

Government Initiatives

Some of the other recent government initiatives in this sector are as follows:

  • Government of India’s focus on infrastructure and restarting road projects is aiding the boost in demand for steel. Also, further likely acceleration in rural economy and infrastructure is expected to lead to growth in demand for steel.
  • The Union Cabinet, Government of India has approved the National Steel Policy (NSP) 2017, as it seeks to create a globally competitive steel industry in India. NSP 2017 targets 300 million tonnes (MT) steel-making capacity and 160 kgs per capita steel consumption by 2030.
  • Metal Scrap Trade Corporation (MSTC) Limited and the Ministry of Steel have jointly launched an e-platform called 'MSTC Metal Mandi' under the 'Digital India' initiative, which will facilitate sale of finished and semi-finished steel products.
  • The Ministry of Steel is facilitating setting up of an industry driven Steel Research and Technology Mission of India (SRTMI) in association with the public and private sector steel companies to spearhead research and development activities in the iron and steel industry at an initial corpus of Rs 200 crore (US$ 30 million).

Road ahead

India is expected to overtake Japan to become the world's second largest steel producer soon, and aims to achieve 300 million tonnes of annual steel production by 2025-30.

India is expected to become the second largest steel producer in the world by 2018, based on increased capacity addition in anticipation of upcoming demand, and the new steel policy, that has been approved by the Union Cabinet in May 2017, is expected to boost India's steel production.* Huge scope for growth is offered by India’s comparatively low per capita steel consumption and the expected rise in consumption due to increased infrastructure construction and the thriving automobile and railways sectors.

Exchange Rate Used: INR 1 = US$ 0.0155 as of January 04, 2018.

References: Media reports, Press releases, Press Information Bureau (PIB), Joint Plant Committee (JPC)

Note: @ - Behind China and Japan,* - According to a report by S&P Global Platts