National Steel Policy Current Affairs - 2020

World Steel report: India’s steel output declined by 65%

On May 24, 2020, the World Steel Association released the World Steel Report. According to the report, the crude steel report of India declined by 65%. During April 2020, the steel output of India was 3.13 million tonnes.

Highlights

In April 2019, according to the report, India produced 9.02 million tonnes. In March 2020, India faced a decline of 14% steel output as compared to March 2019.

The report also says that the global steel output declined by 13%. In April 2019, the global steel output was 157.67 million tonnes. In April 2020, the output declined to 137.09 million tonnes.

Key Findings of the report

China has reported 1.7% fall in steel production. This is the first time China is facing an output decline. US faced a decline of 32%. South Korea’s steel production declined by 8.4%.

The other global steel producers such as European Union, France, Italy, Turkey, Spain, Russia, Ukraine and Brazil also faced decline in their output.

National Steel Policy

India is currently operating under its National Steel Policy 2017. Under the policy, India is to increase its steel production to 300 million tonnes by 2030. It alsi aims to make India self-sufficient in steel. It also aims to build a globally competitive steel industrial output in the country.

India Russia to sign MoU on Coking Coal

On May 7, 2020, Indian Petroleum Minister Shri Dharmendra Pradhan and Russian Energy Minister alexander Novak held a meeting through video conference. The ministers reviewed ongoing projects.

Highlights

The ministers emphasized on the cooperation in coking sector. They also held talks about signing a Memorandum of Understanding on Coking coal. The Russian minister briefed about the OPEC+ agreement that was recently signed.

Importance of Coking Coal

India will require 180 million tonnes of coking coal by 2030-31. The coking coal is to be mainly used to cater steel industry. This comes because the National Steel Policy aims to increase the steel production by 300 million tonnes by 2030.

Also, India aims to meet 35% of its coking coal demands indigenously. The coking coal reserves in India is around 27.9 billion tonnes.

Background of the meet

India is seeking long term agreement of crude oil supply from Russia to diversify the sources of hydrocarbon. India is also interested in gas infrastructure, gas business and petrochemicals industries in Russia.

In order to achieve this, India has been conducting negotiations with Russia. The video conference that was held between the ministers was based on these interests of India.

Other Interests of India

India is interested to explore new sea routes in the Russian Arctic to source crude oil from the region. Also, it intends to revive the Vladivostok-Chennai shipping line to source coking coal from the region.