India continuing to drive steel production – by Shivom Seth (December 24, 2012)

If all planned capacity expansion projects become operational in India, the country could become the world’s second largest steel producer by 2015

MUMBAI (MINEWEB) – Demand for steel in India is rising. Global steel production grew by 5.1% in November to 121.6 million tonnes. India’s contribution was 6.4 million tonnes, with most experts insisting that the country’s steel demand is set to rise in the new year.

Though China tends to be the focus of the steel market given its status as the world’s largest producer, India could soon take over the mantle as the fastest growing producer of the metal within the next few years, if one goes by the opinion of its steel producers.

Somdeb Banerjee, Tata Steel’s executive for South Africa said India’s steel capacity could almost triple between 2010 and 2020 to reach 179 million tonnes a year. He was speaking at the Coaltrans Mozambique conference in Maputo.

In 2011, India became the fourth largest steel producing nation in the world with production of over 74 million tonnes. However, the country has a very low per capita consumption of steel of around 59 kilos as against an average of 215 kilos in the world. This wide gap in relative steel consumption indicates the potential ahead for India to raise its steel consumption, maintain experts.

C S Verma, chairman of Steel Authority of India (SAIL) notes that India’s steel demand could swell in the new year. To cater to the demand, he added, SAIL’s plants were running at over 100% capacity utilisation.

In October, India’s steel consumption was estimated to have risen over 1% to 6.12 million tonnes as compared to 6.08 million tonnes in September.

In November, India’s production increased by 6.6%, as compared to the same month last year. India had produced 6 million tonnes of steel in November 2011.

“The country’s per capita consumption of steel has risen by nearly 25% during the past five years to 57 kilo during 2011, as compared to 45.8 kilo during 2007.

For the rest of this article, please go to the website: