India’s state-owned Rastriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) or Vizag Steel, has set a target of exporting 200,000mt steel in June 2020, an official from the company informed.
In April and May 2020, the company exported 120,000mt and 150,000mt steel, respectively. Products like semis and pig iron were exported mainly to buyers from China and Middle Eastern countries. Majority of semi steel was exported to China as demand in their infrastructure and construction sectors increased.
Primary steel players like Sail, RINL, Tata Steel, JSPL, JSW steel and AMNS are using blast furnaces for making steel and had reduced output to 40-50pc amid the nation-wide lockdown declared on March 25 to curb COVID-19 spread in India. These mills are gradually ramping up their production as India relaxes lockdown restrictions. JSW is currently operating at around 80pc capacity and Sail at 55pc.
During the lockdown, domestic demand dropped significantly but the furnaces remained operational resulting in stockpiled inventories with RINL. The mill thus resorted to overseas trades to liquidate these stocks.
Prices for finished and semi-finished steel in the export market rose by $30-40/mt in the last two months, according to Davis Index’s analysis.
RINL, with a capacity of 7.3mn mt, is known for its long products and caters to the construction, manufacturing and automobile sectors.