Steel Current Affairs - 2019
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For the first time in three years, India was the net importer of steel during the financial year 2018-19. This was attributed to India losing market share among its traditional steel buyers and an increase in imports of higher-quality steel domestically.
Indian Steel Exports
- Indian steel exports fell by 34 percent to 6.36 million tonnes in the fiscal year that ended in March 2019.
- India’s exports during the fiscal year 2018-19 declined after rival steelmakers in China, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia who were blocked from markets in the United States and Europe by tariffs and other protectionist measures, ate away at the India’s markets in the Middle East and Africa.
Indian Steel Imports
- During the 2018-19 financial year, India’s finished steel imports rose 4.7 percent to 7.84 million tonnes.
- Imports from the China, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia also increased as they diverted supply into India after the tarrif and other protectionist measures in the US and EU.
The Ministry of Steel has urged local automakers to cut Japanese and South Korean imports to support domestic producers but the automakers who are the biggest importers of the high-quality steel say they cannot get the quality of steel they need locally. On the other hand Indian steel companies have sought imposition of higher duties on imports.
The output from the eight core sectors which include coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity witnessed a growth of 2.1 per cent in February, compared to the corresponding month last year as per the data from the Ministry of Commerce and Industries.
How Core Industries Performed?
- The production of cement (weight: 5.37%) grew at 8%, the most of all core industries.
- Coal (weight: 10.33%) production rose by 7.3%.
- Crude oil (weight: 8.98%) output increased by 6.1%.
- Steel production (weight: 17.92%) increased by 4.9%.
- Natural gas (weight: 6.88%) production increased by 3.8%.
- Fertilisers (weight: 2.63%) production increased by 2.5%.
- Electricity production increased by 0.7%.
- The output of refinery products (weight: 28.04%) declined by 0.8% in February.
The combined Index of Eight Core Industries stood at 125.8 in February 2019 and it was 2.1 per cent higher as compared to the index of February 2018. The cumulative growth of the core industries during April to February 2018-19 was 4.3 per cent.