India’s November steel production falls 3% on year amid weak demand

India’s crude steel production for November 2019 fell to 8.92 million tonnes, down 2.9 per cent year on year and 1.8 per cent lower against October, provisional data released earlier this week by the Joint Plant Committee (JPC) showed.

Likewise, finished steel production in November fell to 7.80 million tonnes, 7 per cent lower than in November 2018 and 5.4 per cent down from October 2019, JPC data showed.

JSW Steel said its crude steel output fell 7 per cent on the year to 1.29 million tonnes in November as several of its blast furnaces that were shut in October due to a slowdown in automobile demand resumed operations in the last week of November.

Tata Motors said its vehicle production for November fell to 43,394 units, down 14.5 per cent from a year ago.

Similar declines were seen in India’s finished steel trading activity as November imports stood at 429,000 tonnes, a 37 per cent plunge on the year and down 31.8 per cent from October.

Jindal Steel Works (JSW) said its November production of rolled flat and long steel products stood at 909,000 tonnes and 299,000 tonnes, respectively. The former dipped 1 per cent while the latter sank 14 per cent against November 2018.

However, November’s steel exports rocketed to 867,000 tonnes, up 79.9 per cent from the corresponding month in 2018, but down 8.8 per cent from the prior month. The spike placed India as a net exporter of finished steel products for the fourth month running.

With the latest figures, India’s crude steel output from April to November hit 73.17 million tonnes, up 0.9 per cent from the corresponding eight months of 2018.

As for finished steel production over April-November, it came to 67.53 million tonnes, up 1.9 per cent from the year before.

April-November exports amounted to 5.75 million tonnes, up 33.5 per cent on the year, while imports stood at 5.08 million tonnes, down 5.3 per cent from the previous year. “Such trends implied that India was a net exporter of total finished steel in April-November 2019,” the JPC said.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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