Nation firms up April-May crude steel output by 4.5% to 16.391 mt
India produced 16.391 million tonne (MT) of crude steel in the first two months of the current fiscal, up 4.5 per cent year-on-year.
It had produced 15.683 MT in the same period of last fiscal.
Output in May was 8.163 MT, up 2.2 per cent, from 7.989 MT a year ago, as per the latest Joint Plant Committee (JPC) report.
However, on month-on-month basis, it was down 0.8 per cent over April, when the country had produced 8.228 MT.
"SAIL, RINL, TSL, Essar, JSWL and JSPL together produced 9.292 MT during April-May 2017, which was a growth of 8 per cent over same period of last year," it said, adding "the rest 7.099 MT came from the other producers".
Production for sale of total finished steel during the two-month stood rose 6.7 per cent to 17.546 MT from 16.248 MT in same period of last year.
In May, the country registered 4.4 per cent rise its production for sale of total finished steel to 9.066 MT, from 8.681 MT last.
India has been doing good in terms of exports and maintained the momentum during the second consecutive month of the ongoing fiscal.
The export of total finished steel was 69 per cent up at 0.641 MT in May, as against 0.379 MT in same month last year.
However when compared to April 2017, it is a contraction of 14 per cent. The imports stood at 0.558 MT against 0.545 MT, up 2.4 per cent over the May 2016. On month-on-month basis, it grew 10 per cent.
During the April-May period, exports grew 102 per cent to 1.387 MT and imports fell 11.4 per cent to 1.062 MT.
The country remained a net exporter of total finished steel in May as well as the first two month period of 2017-18. India's consumption of total finished steel saw a growth of 4.2 per cent in April-May 2017 (13.785 mt) over same period of last year, under the influence of a rising production for sale.
The overall consumption in May was at 7.491 MT, up 19 per cent over April 2017 and was up by 1 per cent over May 2016.
India is the third largest producer of crude steel after China and Japan. The government is taking various measures and initiatives to promote the domestic steel sector and raise capacity.
On May 3, the Cabinet gave nod to a new policy which aims to achieve steel making capacity of 300 MT by 2030 with an additional investment of Rs 10 lakh crore.
The same day, the government approved a policy for providing preference to domestically manufactured iron and steel products in procurement by the government and its agencies. pti
Mines auction norms: Must wash coal in pit-heads
Successful bidders in the upcoming mines auction will have to wash the metallurgical coal in the pit-head washery so as to improve the quality of dry fuel, as per the new auction rules.
"Successful bidders will be required to wash the coking coal obtained from the coal mine in a pit-head washery before utilising the same," an official said. The government is likely to put on auction six coking coal mines this month for iron and steel sector.
The successful bidder, the official said, will not be permitted to use the coal extracted from the coal mine for any purposes other than utilisation in EUP (End Use Plant). In a washery, coal is freed from impurities or dust by washing.
"Any middling or washery rejects generated from the coal mine may be utilised in any captive power plant of the successful bidder and the balance middling, if any, may be sold by the successful bidder to CIL (Coal India Ltd) at the CIL notified price less 15 per cen..." the official added. Coking coal is a vital ingredient in the steel making process.
"Excess coal extracted beyond the requirement of the bidder shall be supplied to Coal India at CIL notified price less 15 per cent..." the official added.
The Centre's plan to auction coking coal blocks is aimed at augmenting the supply of the fuel used for steel-making and cater to growing demand.