India pips Japan to be second largest global steel producer

India has surged past Japan to become the second largest steel producer in the world with expansion in output backed by a sound growth in demand.

According to World Steel Association,  India produced 96.92 million tonnes of crude steel during the first eleven months of 2018 compared to 92. 39 million tonnes during the same period of 2017, representing a growth of 4.9 per cent

Japan  recorded a dip of 0.1 per cent in steel output in the same period at 95 .86 million tonnes while China maintained its position at the top with 857 million tonnes of steel production.

“The January to November crude steel production statistics released by worldsteel show that India has become the second largest steel producer in the world, overtaking Japan for the second month in a row, with a growth rate of 4.9 per cent. The growth in steel production is supported by fast-growing steel demand”, said Adam Szewczyk, Head, Data Management with World Steel Association in a blog captioned ‘India to significantly boost demand for steel’.

India’s apparent steel use per capita for finished steel products stood at 66.2 kilogram (kg), way below the world average of 212.3 kg in 2017, which suggests that India has a huge unrealised potential for steel demand growth, he added.

According to the association, India also likely to become second largest nation in steel use by the end of 2019 as the steel demand is expected to grow by 7.3 per cent.

The Indian steel industry, after recovering from the twin shocks of demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax (GST) reform, is one of the few bright spots for the world’s steel industry which is projected to enter a sluggish growth era.

Recently, India has been trying to unleash its growth potential through an extensive reform agenda to clear institutional bottlenecks. Also, there is an ongoing push for infrastructure development. These factors, along with the favourable demographics, are improving the macroeconomic fundamentals, which translate into sustained growth in steel use ,  Szewczyk added.

A World Steel study of India, conducted in collaboration with the Indian Steel Association, has identified the construction sector as a pan-India steel demand driver on the back of strong infrastructure development and housing demand, especially affordable housing.

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