India has become a net exporter of steel: Steel Minister

In the next few years, Indian steel exports should increase to 6-7% of total production,” Singh said.

The Dollar Business Bureau

Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh said on Thursday that the country has become a net exporter of steel, and the imports of the metal had come down by around 40-45%.

“Following protective measures taken by the Government like the minimum import price (MIP) and anti-dumping duty, steelmakers had been posting better results. This has also helped India emerge as a net exporter of steel, and imports had come down by 40-45%,” Singh said while speaking at an interactive session organized by the Bharat Chamber of Commerce.

The Minister said that India has to set a target to export 6-7% of its overall steel production from the current 1.5%.

“There is no reason to be happy with 1.5% of export. In the next few years, Indian steel exports should increase to 6-7% of total production,” he said.

Singh further said his Ministry was looking at a mechanism for helping in controlling volatility in iron-ore prices, a key input in steel making. 

“We have formed a taskforce to come out with a report in this regard but I have directed them to have another exercise before they submit their report,” he informed. 

Though there is a free market for iron-ore, there has be some predictability in prices at least for 3-4 months. The volatility in prices of iron-ore mainly impact the small steel companies, Singh said.

The Minister said that with regard to production of steel, India was lagging behind in innovation and research technology, and added that a Cabinet note will be put next week for the recommended Steel Research and Technology Mission of India (SRTMI).

Ministry of Steel is planning to amalgamate all its research organisations under the SRTMI. The initial corpus of fund for creating this umbrella institute is estimated at Rs.200 crore, according to the Government.

The total exports of finished steel from India stood at 5.6 million tonnes during April-October 2017, a growth of 57.7% over the corresponding period. 

The Dollar Business Bureau - Jan 12, 2018 12:00 IST