In comparison, large integrated steel manufacturers are unscathed, as a surge in exports cushioned the fall in domestic volumes. Indeed, revenue saw a sharp rebound in the second quarter after a steep fall in the first. Given the continuous-process nature of the industry, production had continued for most primary producers through the long lockdown.
Secondary players and traders, however, continue to suffer despite the gradual opening up of the economy, as supply chains have been impacted significantly.
A moderate demand revival is expected in the second half of this fiscal, led by improving auto sales and pick-up in construction activity. This is likely to limit the volume decline for SMEs, which saw revenue more than halve in the first quarter. But massive trade losses in the first half will ensure steep a revenue decline for MSMEs this fiscal year.