India’s steel exports surge in November

India’s steel exports surged by 80pc from a year earlier to 867,000t in November, according to provisional figures from India’s steel ministry.

Rising global prices and weak domestic demand have made exports an attractive option for Indian mills, said a Mumbai-based exporter.

Exports in April-November, the first eight months of India’s fiscal year, increased by 33.5pc from a year earlier to 5.75mn t.

India’s steel consumption inched up by 0.8pc from a year earlier to 7.41mn t in November. Consumer spending on real estate and automobiles has been weak since the financial year started in April, said a marketing manager with a Mumbai-based mill.

April-November steel demand increased by 3.5pc to 66.46mn t. A longer-than-usual monsoon season from June-October, and stalling of infrastructure projects because of a lack of funds, caused a slowdown in steel orders during the period.

India’s total steel imports fell by 5.3pc to 5.07mn t during April-November, and dropped by 37pc to 429,000t in November.

A fall in domestic prices has made India a less attractive destination for imports at a time when several flat products have price protection in place through anti-dumping duties, in addition to a 12.5pc basic customs duty.

Major steelmakers including Tata Steel and JSW Steel have undertaken repair and maintenance works, particularly during October and November, in line with the slowdown in local demand. This helped send India’s total crude steel output down by 7pc year on year to 7.8mn t in November. Production in April-November increased by 1.9 pc to 67.52mn t.

By Charlotte Rao