In October, for the second time this fiscal year, India became a net importer of steel due to lower-cost options in the downstream industry, such as cold-rolled and coated goods, while exports significantly decreased in volume. According to information accessible with the Steel Ministry, steel imports totaled 5,93,000 tonnes in October, compared to exports of 3,60,000 tonnes. The greatest in more than two years, according to trade sources, were imports in October. For the second time in four months, imports have outpaced exports. The most recent occurrence was in July, the first since January 2021.
Imports of non-alloyed steel increased by 69 percent year over year in October to 364,000 tonnes, while imports of alloyed and stainless steel increased by 41 percent year over year to 2,30,000 tonnes. A source claimed that international costs are less expensive than local pricing. The foreign pricing for hot rolled coils has dropped to 50,000 compared to the benchmark rates in India, which range from 55,000 to 57,000 per tonne. A mill official stated that “foreign competitors will attempt to come in with lower-priced solutions” because India is the only nation in the world to have experienced an increase in domestic steel demand.
The biggest steel manufacturer in the nation, Sesagiri Rao, Joint MD, and Group CFO, had raised some of these issues during the most recent analyst call. “However, there is cause for concern as imports are rising. If you look quarter-to-quarter, it increased by 23 percent (pointing to the prior figure), but exports have decreased at the same time,” he had remarked. Imports increased by 14% year over year from April to October to 3.15 million tonnes (mt). Exports, at 3.9 mt for the seven-month period, still outnumber imports. The majority of these imports, according to trade sources, are scheduled arrivals from at least two to three months ago. Russian products have begun to enter the market, some of which were also present.
But according to sources, the existing worldwide price is expected to remain the same from a price standpoint. The CFO of JSW Steel, Jayant Acharya, stated on the analyst call that “maybe (it will) even out in this quarter (October-December). “Given the restricted capabilities of global markets to supply at competitive pricing, we don’t anticipate many imports coming in. Imports should also be steady going forward, in my opinion. He claims that domestic pricing is “not too far off” given the weakened rupee and the $620 to $650 range for foreign costs. “If you take countries into the country that have an import charge, then I think domestic pricing is properly situated,” he said.