At present, China tops the list with increase in consumption

India, which is the third largest consumer of steel after China and the United States, is poised to achieve a major milestone by raising its production to 200 million tonne by 2020-21.

At present, China tops the list with increase in its consumption from 588 million tonne in 2010 to 624 million tonnes in 2011 and 639 million tonnes in 2012. This is followed by the US with 80 million tonnes in 2010, 89 million tonnes in 2011 and 97 million tonnes in 2012.

India consumed 65 million tonnes in 2010, 70 million tonnes in 2011 and 74 million tonnes in 2012 and poised to consume 77 million tonnes during current year.

The steel market, which is at present sluggish, is showing some signs of recovery. “Recession is generally cyclical and normalcy picks up after five to seven years. After the market meltdown of 2008, now everyone is hopeful of a turnaround,” RINL Director (Commercial) T.K. Chand told The Hindu.

According to the World Steel Association, India is fourth largest steelmaker by producing 76.7 million tonnes in 2012 after China (716.5 million tonne), Japan (107.2) and the US (88.6). The Working Group on Steel for 12 Plan envisages an investment of $ trillion in infrastructure.

In a presentation on enhancing domestic competitiveness at the CII Steel Conference here recently, Sushim Banerjee, Director-General, Institute for Steel Development and Growth, Kolkata, states that Indian steel capacities will move to 202 million tonnes by 2020-21. Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, owned by RINL is in advance stage of completing its expansion.

In overall Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), India ranks 59th against 29 of China out of 144 countries. Some of the parameters for GCI were macro economic environment, good market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication and innovation.

According to him, integration of raw materials will lead to increased profitability.

However, sole mine owners might implement drastic cost reduction while vertically integrated steelmakers might not feel the pressure. Such types of mills are concentrated in India as well as CIS and Middle East.

On improving domestic competitiveness, he says besides increasing productivity of blast furnaces, the manufacturers should focus on R&D and technological upgradation.

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