Steel consumption in India to rise by 8-9% in FY16: SAIL
SAIL expects its profitability to rise in the current fiscal on growing steel consumption, which the country’s largest steel producer expects to grow by 8-9 per cent.
India, the world’s fourth-largest steel producer, saw its consumption of total finished steel grow by 3.1 per cent to 76.36 million tonnes (MT) in the last fiscal from 74.09 MT in 2013-14. “As the government is increasingly focusing on ramping up infrastructure and chalking out programmes to develop roads, ports and affordable housing, we expect steel consumption to grow by 8-9 per cent in 2015-16,” SAIL CMD C S Verma said.
According to data from the Joint Plant Committee (JPC), a unit of the Steel Ministry: “India’s consumption of total finished steel saw a growth of 3.1 per cent in 2014-15 (76.355 MT) over same period of last year.” For the first month of the current fiscal, consumption of total finished steel grew by 7.1 per cent to 5.503 MT as compared to April 2014, but registered a decline of 23.2 per cent over March 2015 (7.153 MT). Exuding confidence on SAIL’s journey in 2015-16, Verma said: “There are several projects that are in the pipeline like smart cities, affordable housing as well as other supporting infrastructure requirements, which will help us to increase both our top and bottom line.”
SAIL had reported 26 per cent fall in net profit to Rs 334 crore for the fourth quarter of 2014-15 from Rs 453 crore in the year-ago period. Its total income declined 13 per cent to Rs 11,684 crore in the January-March quarter of the last fiscal from Rs 13,684 crore in the same quarter of 2013-14. Defending the firm’s performance, Verma said SAIL’s profit and sales margins are better when compared to the results for the last quarter. “At a time when market conditions have been challenging, not just in India but globally, we have maintained our output and braved headwinds like cheap imports, slack demand, among others to give a sector leading performance,” he added.