India was the world’s second-largest steel producer with production standing at 111.2 million tonnes (MT) in 2019. 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 modern with state-of-the-art steel mills. It has always strived for continuous modernisation of older plants and up-gradation to higher energy efficiency levels.
Indian steel industry is classified into three categories - major producers, main producers and secondary producers.
In FY21, the production of crude steel and finished steel stood a 102.49 MT and 94.66 MT, respectively. According to CARE Ratings, crude steel production is expected to reach 112-114 MT (million tonne), an increase of 8-9% YoY in FY22. The consumption of finished steel stood at 93.43 MT in FY21.
In May 2021, finished steel production stood at 7.8 MT.
In June 2021, SAIL’s crude steel production stood at 1.30 MT and saleable steel production was 1.27 MT.
Exports and imports of finished steel stood at 10.79 MT and 4.75 MT, respectively, in FY21. In April 2021, India’s export rose by 121.6% YoY, compared with 2020. In FY20, India exported 8.24 MT of finished steel.
Steel industry and its associated mining and metallurgy sectors have seen major investments and developments in the recent past.
According to the data released by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), between April 2000 and March 2021, Indian metallurgical industries attracted FDI inflows of US$ 14.74 billion.
Some of the major investments in the Indian steel industry are as follows:
- In June 2021, AM/NS India, a joint venture between ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel, announced plans to increase its capacity to 30 MT with an investment of Rs. 85,000 crore (US$ 11.40 billion).
- Between April 2000 and March 2021, Indian metallurgical industries attracted FDIs of US$ 14.74 billion.
- In the next three years from June 2021, JSW Steel is planning to invest Rs. 47,457 crore (US$ 6.36 billion) to increase Vijayanagar’s steel plant capacity by 5 MTPA and establish a mining infrastructure in Odisha.
- In June 2021, Mr. T.V. Narendran, the newly elected CII president and MD of Tata Steel, in an interview with The Telegraph, stated that steel companies have firmed their plans to invest ~Rs. 60,000 crore (US$ 8.09 billion) over the next three years—this is was the biggest private sector investment plan announced in recent times.
- In June 2021, Shyam Metalics and Energy Ltd. (SMEL) announced that the company is planning to double its production capacity at an estimated investment of ~Rs. 2,894 crore (US$ 389.72 million) through brownfield expansion at two of its units in the next 3-4 years.
- In April 2021, in a virtual roundtable conference organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Shin Bongkil, the South Korean Ambassador to India, announced that POSCO, the South Korean steel giant, is planning to set up an integrated steel plant in Odisha at an investment of US$ 12 billion, which would make it the country's biggest FDI project.
- In May 2021, JSW Steel signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to conduct a feasibility study with its strategic alliance partner JFE Steel Corporation to establish a Grain-oriented Electrical Steel Sheet Manufacturing and Sales JV Company in India.
- In May 2021, JSW Steel announced the steel-making expansion at its Vijayanagar plant by 5 MT every year to 17 MT every year by the financial year ending March 2024
- In March 2021, JSW Steel completed its takeover of debt-ridden Bhushan Power and Steel Ltd., boosting to the former’s overall output to 21.5 mtpa. JSW Steel’s has 18 mtpa of capacity, which will hit more than 26 mtpa with the addition of BPSL and a doubling of capacity at JSW Steel’s Dolvi steel mill to 10 mtpa.
- In March 2021, Arcelor Mittal Steel signed Rs 50,000 crore deal with Odisha government to setup a steel plant in the state.
- In February 2021, Tata Steel BSL collaborated with FarEye, a software logistics firm to improve its digital transformation process.
- In a move towards becoming self-reliant, Indian steel companies have started boosting steel production capacity. To this end, SAIL announced doubling of its at 5 of its steel plants capacity in September 2020.
- In March 2020, Arcelor Mittal Nippon Steel India (AM/NS) acquired Bhander Power plant in Hazira, Gujarat from Edelweiss Asset Reconstruction Company.
- In February 2020, GFG Alliance acquired Adhunik Metaliks and its arm Zion Steel for Rs. 425 crore (US$ 60.81 million), marking its entry into the Indian steel market.
- For FY20, JSW Steel set a target of supplying around 1.5 lakh tonnes of TMT Rebars to metro rail projects across the country.
- In December 2019, Arcelor Mittal completed the acquisition of Essar Steel at Rs. 42,000 crore (US$ 6.01 billion) and formed a joint venture with Nippon Steel Corporation.
- 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.
- Ministry of Steel plans to invest US$ 70 million in the eastern region of the country through accelerated development of the sector.
- The production capacity of SAIL is expected to increase from 13 MTPA to 50 MTPA in 2025 with total investment of US$ 24.88 billion.
- 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.
Some of the other recent Government initiatives in this sector are as follows:
- In June 2021, Minister of Steel & Petroleum & Natural Gas Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan addressed the webinar on ‘Making Eastern India a manufacturing hub with respect to metallurgical industries’, organised by the Indian Institute of Metals. In 2020, ‘Mission Purvodaya’ was launched to accelerate development of the eastern states of India (Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and the northern part of Andhra Pradesh) through establishment of an integrated steel hub in Kolkata, West Bengal. Eastern India has the potential to add >75% of the country’s incremental steel capacity. It is expected that of the 300 MT capacity by 2030-31, >200 MT can come from this region alone.
- In June 2021, JSW Steel, CSIR-National Chemical Lab (NCL), Scottish Development International (SDI) and India H2 Alliance (IH2A) joined forces to commercialise hydrogen in steel and cement sectors.
- Under the Union Budget 2020-21, the government allocated Rs. 39.25 crore (US$ 5.4 million) to the Ministry of Steel. The budget’s focus is on creating infrastructure and manufacturing to propel the economy. In addition, enhanced outlays for key sectors such as defence services, railways, and roads, transport and highways would provide impetus to steel consumption.
- 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 boost the steel sector through joint activities under the framework of India–Japan Steel Dialogue.
- In December 2020, the Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel, Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan, has appealed to the scientific community to Innovate for India (I4I) and create competitive advantages to make India ‘Aatmanirbhar’.
- In September 2020, the Ministry of Steel prepared a draft framework policy for development of steel clusters in the country.
- On October 1, 2020, Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) announced that steel manufacturers in the country can avail duty drawback benefits on steel supplied through their service centres, distributors, dealers and stock yards.
- Government introduced Steel Scrap Recycling Policy to reduce import.
- An export duty of 30% has been levied on iron ore^ (lumps and fines) to ensure supply to domestic steel industry.
- Government of India’s focus on infrastructure and restarting road projects is aiding the 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 approved the National Steel Policy (NSP) 2017, as it intend to create a globally competitive steel industry in India. NSP 2017 envisage 300 million tonnes (MT) steel-making capacity and 160 kgs per capita steel consumption by 2030-31.
- 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).
- The Government of India raised import duty on most steel items twice, each time by 2.5% and imposed measures including anti-dumping and safeguard duties on iron and steel items.
The National Steel Policy, 2017 envisage 300 million tonnes of production capacity by 2030-31. The per capita consumption of steel has increased from 57.6 kgs to 74.1 kgs during the last five years. The government has a fixed objective of increasing rural consumption of steel from the current 19.6 kg/per capita to 38 kg/per capita by 2030-31.
As per Indian Steel Association (ISA), steel demand will grow by 7.2% in 2019-20 and 2020-21.
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.
Note: Conversion rate used in January 2021, Rs. 1 = US$ 0.0137
References: Media reports, Press releases, Press Information Bureau (PIB), Joint Plant Committee (JPC), Union Budget 2021-22
Note: P- Provisional, Except low grade (below 58%)
Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.