India on right path to becoming global steel player: ISA
India turned net exporter of steel this year and the trend is expected to continue as the metal's quality has become globally competitive, according to Indian Steel Association.
This is the beginning for India towards becoming a global player, the association said.
The country is no doubt on the right path. "It is already a net exporter. This will give strength to domestic production so that the entire production may not be intended for domestic consumption and some positive development needs to move further," the association added.
"From September 2014 till end of September 2016 huge imports came to India, and since about beginning of this year, it shows the trend of becoming a net exporter," Sanak Mishra, Secretary General and Executive Head, Indian Steel Association (ISA) said in an interview.
On account of measures taken by the government, the imports fell last fiscal year ending March, and from beginning of the new calender year itself, the exports were larger than the imports, he said.
According to official figures, production of total finished steel stood at 101.274 MT in April-March 2016-17.
Steel export was up by 102.1 per cent in April-March 2016-17 (8.244 MT) over same period of last year.
Meanwhile, steel import was at 7.427 MT in April-March 2016-17, a decline of 36.6 per cent over same period of previous year.
The ISA expects this trend will continue as the Indian steel is competitive in the global market in terms of quality and delivery, Mishra said.
"(There) is new technology, equipment, automation and process control. So, India is in position to compete for exports. Secondly, in an ideal situation export should be at least as much as you import. We have crossed that at the moment, our exports are larger than imports but the fact is that this quantity is not very large.
"India should increase its exports as the figures at present are not very much high. To present itself as a global player, India should continue to export to get better value and present itself as a global player," he said.
"We should not be too euphoric about it. It is beginning of India being a global player. When it will reach 15 million tonnes then internationally, people will notice that India is exporting so much of steel," he added.
Besides raising production, India should also start looking for new markets. These could be to countries which are importing steel, which have less production capacity, where economy is rising but steel production is not, he said.