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India reduces steel trade deficit on the back of better exports, stable imports


India’s steel trade deficit has come down to ?10,411 crore ($1,258 million) for the April–February period, down 10 per cent sequentially, on the back of improving exports, and stable imports during February, a report of the Steel Ministry, accessed by businessline show.

Trade deficit was ?11,564 crore in the April–January period of the fiscal.

Import of finished steel stood at 7.6 million tonnes (mt), and was valued at ?63,432 crore ($7,663 million) while exports were at 6.6 mt and valued at ?53,021 crore ($6,405 million). India was a net importer, with shipments coming-in exceeding outbound shipments by nearly 1 mt.

Imports increased 29 per cent YoY and remained at January levels (with no significant increase) for February at 0.8 mt. Exports, on the other hand, increased by 78 per cent YoY and by 21 per cent sequentially in February to over 1 mt, the Ministry report said.

“Volume-wise hot rolled coil / strip – at 3.4 mt – was the most imported item accounting for 45 per cent share (with China being the largest seller), accounting for 2.5 mt of the shipments coming in,” the report mentioned.

Hot rolled coils and strips were the highest exported item accounting for 2.6 mt or nearly 39 per cent of the volumes. Flat product exports increased by 16 per cent YoY to 5.9 mt, while non-flat products saw a 7 per cent YoY decline to 0.7 mt.

According to the Ministry report, Italy, Spain and Belgium were the three top buyers; and Europe accounted for 45 per cent of the exports from India.

Shipments to Italy — the largest market — stood at 1.5 mt, up 85 per cent YoY. Exports in the year-ago-period were 0.8 mt and valued at $1,228 million, up 43 per cent, YoY.

Exports to Belgium increased 37 per cent YoY to 0.8 mt or $646 million, up 6 per cent. Shipments made past year was 0.53 mt, the report mentioned.

The other big buyer, Spain, saw an over 100 per cent increase in exports to 0.63 mt for April–February period, which was at 0.3 mt in the same period last fiscal. Exports were valued at $527 million, up 65 per cent YoY.

Other European buyers were France, Germany and Greece, and shipments stood at around 29,000 tonnes, 31,300 tonnes and 42,400 tonnes, respectively, the report showed.

Other major buyers were Nepal and UAE, where exports stood at 0.6 mt, up 14 per cent ($340 million) and 0.5 mt, down 28 per cent ($442 million), respectively.

Source: The Hindu Business Line 

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