Steel exports from India are expected to increase by more than a third as prices rise

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As global prices rise and major manufacturers of the alloy cut output, India’s steel mills are expected to increase exports by more than a third this year. According to Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. Managing Director V.R. Sharma, the world’s second-largest manufacturer may raise exports to as much as 15 million tonnes in the fiscal year that began in April, up from 10.8 million last year. Exports will be boosted by higher global steel prices, as well as possibilities given by China’s and Russia’s plans to reduce foreign shipments.

According to Sharma, Indian mills are already exporting as much as 40% of their output, up from 20% a year ago.

International pricing is higher than local ones and is “quite lucrative,” he added, while local building demand is currently weak but expected to take up in October.

In a separate interview, N.L. Vhatte, chief executive officer of billionaire Anil Agarwal’s ESL Steel Ltd., stated that changes in Chinese domestic steel policy could assist boost export prospects for the Indian steel sector in the coming months. “Now is an excellent time for Indian steel exporters to broaden their horizons and seek out new markets by focusing on quality improvement.”

Best-selling author China has started reducing steel production to fulfill its objectives for reducing energy intensity and pollution, with the goal of lowering output this year to below that of 2020. According to official data, Indian mills sent out around 3.5 million tonnes in the three months leading up to June, as demand was impacted by a spike in coronavirus infections, which resulted in lockdowns and slowed economic activity. India’s biggest export markets are the United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, and Italy.

However, according to Jindal Steel’s Sharma, fewer boats in Indian ports may impede supplies for at least the next several months. Steel goods are building up at Indian ports when ships arrive late due to tight quarantine regulations throughout the world, he added.

“The situation will return to normal as soon as China and the rest of the globe free the vessels,” Sharma added.