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India turns net steel exporter

India turns net steel exporter

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India turned into a net steel exporter in FY13-14, after a gap of six years. The momentum is expected to continue through FY14-15 as producers of steel look at exports to tide over the dull domestic environment. Total steel exports by India during FY13-14 were 5.59 million metric-tonne, as against imports of 5.44 metric-tonne. Fourth largest steel producer, India was a net steel importer since 2007-08 and the trend continued till 2012-13 with 7.9 metric-tonnes of imports, and 5.2 metric-tonnes of exports. Before the FY2007-08, India exported more steel than its imported steel. A rise in exports by 4.1 per cent approximately, and a decline in imports by 31.3 per cent has turned India into a net steel exporter. If higher exports were driven by volatility of rupee and mismatched demand-supply situation in the country, decline in import could be attributed to the sluggish domestic economy, and lower consumption therefore. India’s steel consumption grew by just 0.6 per cent in FY2013-14, its lowest in four years, at 73.93 metric-tonne. Construction sector accounts for around 60 per cent of the country’s total steel demand while the automobile industry consumes 15 per cent. Both sectors were hit by a slowdown in the economy. Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) clocked a 30 per cent growth in exports in FY2013-14. Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) exported 1 lakh tonne steel last fiscal. SAIL aims to more than double the shipments to 1 MT in 2014-15. RINL aims to treble exports in the current fiscal. 

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