India’s crude steel production surged by 47pc to 9.2mn mt in May from the prior year, according to recent World Steel Association (WSA) data.
The data for the base month, May 2020, however, was weak, impacted by the imposition of a nationwide lockdown announced on March 25, 2020, which was further extended to control the spread of the pandemic. In that period, domestic steel mills had slashed production in line with the demand.
Currently, almost all domestic primary steel mills producing steel through blast furnaces (BF) route are operating at 80-90pc capacity utilization due to sustained demand from the export market.
Secondary steel players who produce steel through sponge and scrap-based route are operating at around 60-70pc due to slower demand in the domestic market following the second wave of pandemic in the month of April and May 2021.
Secondary mills are planning to further slash production from July 1, due to limited demand for finished steel in the monsoon season. Furthermore, higher raw-material prices including iron ore and scrap have led to squeezed margins which have made it difficult for mill owners to run plants.