Bloomberg reported that demand for steel in India could grow at the slowest pace in three years as an economic slowdown in the global industry’s bright spot deepens. Moody’s Investors Service’ Icra Ltd said that steel consumption in India is likely to increase by less than 6% this fiscal year, slowest pace since a 3.1% increase in the year ended March 2017. Mr Jayanta Roy, senior vice president at ICRA, said in an interview “Our earlier view was that demand should grow at 6% to 7%. A growth of 7% would be out of line with the current situation now and even 6% in today’s environment would be optimistic. Fresh capital expenditure from the government is critical for demand growth as private spending on projects is low, and construction and infrastructure remain the most important drivers of India’s steel consumption. The industry is now focusing on the second half of the financial year to see whether large projects of railways, pipelines, electricity transmission, urban infrastructure or roads gain momentum or not. If they do, there could be some respite. If they don’t then the concerns would be higher.”
According to media reports, Joint Plant Committee data showed that India’s steel consumption for April-July amounted to 33.706 million tonnes, about 6.6% higher than the 31.607 million tonnes recorded a year ago, up by 9.7% higher from the 28.820 million tonne seen in the corresponding months of 2017.