India’s steel exports are likely to remain subdued in the fourth quarter of FY2021, states the rating agency India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra). The agency’s forecast comes on the back of robust domestic demand and realizations. 

 

Finished Steel Exports

Total finished steel exports for January 2021 were 0.58mn mt, 6pc lower than the prior month and 16pc lower than the prior year. India’s export volumes were up 23pc at 8.8mn mt during the lockdown months in 2020.

 

Finished Steel Imports

Disruptions due to COVID-19 reduced finished steel imports by 37pc from the prior-year period to 3.79mn mt between April 2020 and January 2021. Finished steel imports in January witnessed an uptick of 2pc from the prior month to 520,000mt. From Jan 2020, they were up by 8.3pc. But Ind-Ra predicts imports, especially from China, are unlikely to increase in the near term because domestic prices are better and China has a limited surplus of steel.

 

Crude Steel Output

India’s crude steel output was at 10mn mt in January 2021, approximately 2pc higher than the last month and 7pc more than the prior year. Ind-Ra estimates that China’s crude steel output for the same period was 90.2mn mt, which may be 2pc lower than the previous month but somewhat close to 2020 output levels.

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