are expecting an increase in offtake from the automobile
segment in the January-March quarter after its muted showing in the third quarter led by a weak festive demand and supply-side issues.
While two-wheelers suffered on the back of poor demand, volumes of passenger vehicles (PVs) suffered due to supply-side constraints. But according to steelmakers, going by the current trend, Q4 is looking better in terms of offtake from the auto segment.
ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel
India (AM/NS India) chief marketing officer, Ranjan Dhar, said that the cues from the automobile
sector are very positive for the January to March quarter.
“Indications are that the schedule is very strong and we have been asked to enhance the allocations,” he added. The company is expecting a 15-20 per cent increase in offtake from the auto segment in Q4 compared to Q3.
director (commercial & marketing), Jayant Acharya, said that the January- March quarter looks even better than Q4 of last year. “Many of the PVs have a waiting period which reflects a good demand,” he added.
“We are seeing demand from the automobile
sector picking up. October to November has seen some moderation but from December onwards, demand has improved across CV and PV,” he pointed out.
In Q2FY22, auto accounted for about 19 per cent of JSW Steel’s domestic sales.
It is not clear how soon the chip shortage will get sorted, but analysts expect a gradual easing of constraints. Over a two-year timeframe, strong growth is expected from CVs and PVs.
Steel accounts for about 50 per cent of a car’s weight; for two-wheelers, it is lower. About 90 per cent of the auto companies’ steel requirements are met by Tata Steel, JSW Steel and AM/NS India.
As far as the share in raw material cost is concerned, steel accounts for about eight per cent of the raw material cost for cars, seven per cent in two wheelers and nine per cent in CVs.
Acharya said, “Our contracts with auto companies have been finalised in November/December.” “
In flats (hot rolled/cold-rolled), the increase is Rs 9,500-10,000 a tonne and in longs, it’s Rs 4600-4700 a tonne. The increase will be applicable during October to March 2022,” he added.
Dhar said that AM/NS was the first to settle contracts with auto companies and also to revert to the six-month cycle
Typically, contracts with auto companies have been six-monthly. But companies moved to quarterly pricing with a surge in steel prices over the past year. But steel prices saw a steep correction in December and are currently at a discount to contract prices.
But Dhar pointed out that in May, auto contractual prices were at 35-40 per cent discount to spot.
“Even if we look at the average for April to December, contract prices for auto are trailing the spot prices by a substantial amount. So auto companies have been cushioned due to the benefit of contractual prices. In the long run, it evens out,” he said.
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