New Delhi: India's steel consumption in the first six months of the current fiscal remained flat, showing just 0.8 percent year-on-year growth due to poor offtake by construction and automobile sectors.
The consumption of finished steel, a key indicator to the health of an economy, was at 36.58 million tonnes (MT) during the April-September period of the current fiscal, data compiled by Joint Plant Committee (JPC), a unit of the Steel Ministry, has revealed.
India, world's fourth largest steel maker, had consumed 36.28 MT steel during the April-September period of the last fiscal.
Coupled with beleaguered auto sector, the bad run of the construction sector, which consumes maximum steel, is taking a toll on the steel consumption, a sectoral analyst said, adding good times are ahead with the elapse of the monsoon season.
Meanwhile, imports of steel during the April-September period has also come down by 25.2 percent to 2.9 MT against 3.9 MT a year earlier.
Exports were also down by 0.4 percent to 2.3 MT.
Total production, however, was up by 6.2 percent to 40.3 MT during the April-September period compared to 38 MT during the same period last fiscal, JPC data revealed.
SAIL's production was up by 5.8 percent at 5.28 MT. RINL produced 11.8 percent to 1.38 MT. Tata Steel's production was up by 27.4 per cent to 3.65 MT.
World Steel Association (WSA) has recently slashed its projection for India's steel demand growth to 3.4 percent for the current year from the earlier forecast of 5.9 percent.
“In India, steel demand is expected to grow by 3.4 per cent to 74 million tonnes (MT) in 2013 following 2.6 per cent growth in 2012 as high inflation and structural problems are constraining steel using sectors' activities,” the industry association had said in its short-range outlook released earlier this month.
WSA had in April projected India's steel demand growth at 5.9 per cent for 2013, pinning hopes on monetary easing and investment activities.