India became net steel exporter in 2013-14 after a gap of six years. Total steel exports by India during the last fiscal year stood at 5.59 million tonnes (MT), as against imports of 5.44 MT according to Joint Plant Committee (JPC), a unit of the Union Steel Ministry.
Steel consumption of India grew by 0.6 percent (in 2013-14) to 73.93 MT. About 4.1 percent higher exports and 31.3 percent decline in imports helped India to become net exporter of steel once again. Volatile Rupee and low demand-supply ratio lead to higher exports, and slow domestic economy caused poor domestic demands which resulted in lower import costs.
This trend is likely to continue in 2014-15 as both private and public producers are aiming for more export to compensate for subdued domestic demand. Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) exported 1 lakh tonne steel last year. It now has kept target of tripling this amount in the current fiscal. Similarly, Steel Authority of India (SAIL) had registered a 30 percent growth in exports in 2013-14 and aims to more than double the shipments to 1 MT in 2014-15.
Presently, India is the fourth largest steel maker. India had been a steel importer from 2007-08 to 2012-13. About 60 percent of the country's total steel demand is made by the Construction sector and about 15 percent is consumed by automobile sector.
JPC is an institution established by the Government of India for creation and maintenance of a complete databank on the Indian steel industry, to collect data on this industry. Joint Plant Committee is headquartered at Kolkata with four regional offices in New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai.