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India’s Steel Trade Deficit Jumps, Confirms Net Importer Status

India’s Steel Ministry has revealed a significant 272% sequential surge in the country’s steel trade deficit, reaching Rs 8,888 crore. This surge, one of the highest in recent times, solidifies India’s status as a net importer in the first nine months of the fiscal year, with the deficit growing by Rs 6,495 crore within a month.

According to a report, the import of finished steel from April to December saw a year-on-year increase of 26.4%, reaching 5.6 million tonnes (Mt). In contrast, exports were at 4.7 Mt, marking a 1.4% year-on-year decrease and creating a deficit of 0.9 Mt.

In terms of value, imports amounted to Rs 48,027 crore, while exports stood at Rs 39,139 crore. The trade deficit for April to November positioned India as a net importer by 0.3 Mt.

The report notes that from April to December 2023, domestic finished steel production increased by 14.1% to 102.196 Mt, and domestic consumption rose by 14.8% to 99.991 Mt.

India found itself in a net import position for total finished steel, with imports surpassing exports. Hot-rolled coils and strips dominated imports in terms of volume, accounting for a 41% share in total finished steel.

The Ministry’s report highlights Korea reclaiming its position as the top importer of finished steel, contributing 1.77 Mt of shipments, marking a 5% increase from the previous year. Notably, hot-rolled coils and strips, cold-rolled strips, and galvanized plates and coils were among the highest shipped items.

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