India’s steel exports weaker in March

India’s steel exports weaker in March

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Indian steel exports in March fell by 3.2pc from a year earlier to 573,000t following its nationwide lockdown to stop the spread of Covid-19.

But India remained a net exporter for the 2019-20 fiscal year ending 31 March, with finished steel exports rising by 31pc from the previous year to 8.35mn t, latest steel ministry data shows.

The largest buyer of Indian steel in 2019-20 was Vietnam, recording a 28pc increase to 2.33mn t. The most exported product was hot-rolled coil (HRC) with Vietnam having the highest share of India’s HRC steel exports at 49pc.

Indian HRC exports during 2019-20 rose by 17.5pc to 4.8mn t. March HRC exports increased by 9.3pc from February to 328,000t.

Nepal, the UAE, Italy and Belgium followed Vietnam as the India’s top steel buyers during 2019-20.

India’s steel exports are likely to remain low in the coming months, according to research agency Icra Research. Indian exporters face the risk of delayed deliveries because of bottlenecks in production, logistics and port handling capacity, as well as the risk of coronavirus transmission from import consignments, resulting in stringent scrutiny by port customs authorities, Icra said.

India’s steel imports during 2019-20 fell by 13.6pc from the previous year to 6.76mn t, while domestic consumption inched up marginally by 1.3pc to above 100mn t for the first time.

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