India’s steel production growth rate dropped by 33.8pc in June from a year ago but improved from a decline of 43.1pc in May, according to official data for industrial production.
Steel production increased as the industry’s utilization rates improved post the COVID-19-related lockdowns. Steel producers’ utilization rates rose from 30 to 40pc in April and May to 60 to 80pc by the end of June on the slow return of downstream steel demand and export-based sales by major producers. India’s steel production growth rate had dropped to 78.7pc in April and 24.1pc in March, due to the pandemic.
In Q1 (April-June FY2020-21), cumulative growth rate declined by 51.7pc from the prior year period as steelmakers struggled with a shortage of labour, higher input costs and weak demand from infrastructure, real estate and auto sector. India’s steel consumption dropped by 55pc in Q1 from a year ago. Crude steel production in Q1 declined by 41.6pc to 16.28mn mt from a year ago quarter.
The growth rate of India’s Eight Core Industries Index for June 2020 fell by 15.0pc compared to a drop of 22pc in May, as per provisional data. The index track core industrial production including coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilizers, steel, cement and electricity. Cumulative growth for Q1 dropped by 24.6pc from a year ago.