Indian steel mills reduce exports to China

Steel manufacturers are reducing dependence on China for exports, with the gradual opening up of business across the world.

Even though the country still accounts for the lion’s share of semi-finished steel exports from India, China has come off from the highs during the lockdown. According to data from the Joint Plant Committee (JPC), India exported 1 million tonnes of semi-finished steel to China during April and May, while total semi-finished steel exports stood at 1.3 million tonnes.

Steelmakers expect exports to reduce, with an improvement in domestic demand. The lockdown had pushed steel exports to record levels, with semi-finished steel in the first four months of FY21 crossing the overall volumes of semi-finished steel exports in FY20.

Finished steel exports during April-July were more than 50 per cent of total volumes of finished steel exports last year.

Most firms resorted to exports during April and May, to tide over the lockdown that hit end-users of steel. However, there was a decline in exports month-on-month. In June, finished steel exports stood at 1.5 million tonnes while semi-finished steel was at 991,000 tonnes. But in July, the corresponding figures were 1.38 million tonnes and 941,000 tonnes.