2011 FUTURE OF STEEL IN INDIA STEEL Steel is one of the most efficient modern construction materials. It offers the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any commonly-used material and is exceptionally durable. Over 20 billion tonnes of steel remains in use today in a variety of products. Steel can be infinitely recycled, allowing the creation of new products out of old products without any loss of strength, formability, or any other important measure of performance. This is why steel remains the material of choice for construction and manufacturing around the world. Er. GAURAV MISHRA (PROJECTS) CAPE INDUSTRIAL SERVICES PVT. LTD. 6/25/2011
1. Introduction2. Market Scenario3. Global scenario4. Major Players5. Pricing Strategy6. Important Policy Measures7. Duties and Levies on Steel8. FDI Rule, Competitors & FII in Steel Industry9. Role of Government10. Opportunities For Growth11. Summary
Steel Industry Introduction: Steel plays a vital role in accelerating growth and development of a nation. It is used as abasic material in the manufacture of metal products, electrical machinery, transport equipment,textile, etc and thus considered to be the backbone of the human civilization. It is a product oflarge and technologically advanced industry having strong forward and backward linkages interms of material flow and income generation. In other words, the production and per capitaconsumption of steel is a major contributor to a country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and anindicator of its industrial and economic strength. Iron ore, manganese ore and chrome ore are thecritical raw material inputs for the steel industry. Their timely and assured availability inadequate quantity and quality, on long term basis, is a prerequisite for the rapid and orderlygrowth of the sector.
The life cycle of a steel item in a multi-material product
India is the eighth largest crude steel producing country in the world. It is endowed with richest iron andcoal ore mines. Its cost of production of steel is comparatively much lower than that in other countries.It has several advantageous features which gives the dominant position to its steel industry on the worldmap. Some of these are:- I. Establishment of new state-of-the-art steel plants in the country with lesser dependence on external aid II. Continuous modernization as well as implementation of de-bottlenecking and technology up gradation schemes in the older plants III. Improvement in energy efficiency of the plants in terms of coke rate and power consumption IV. Utilization of better quality raw materials, such as imported coking coal, accessed from global sources V. Optimum processing of raw materials like washing of coal, beneficiation and sintering of iron ore etc.
Market Scenario: After liberalization, there have been no shortages of steel materials in the country. Apparent consumption of finished (carbon) steel increased from 14.84 Million Tonnes in 1991- 92 to 43.471 million tonnes (Provisional) in 2006-07. During April-June, 2007, apparent consumption of finished (carbon) steel was 10.103 million tonnes(Provisionally estimated) Steel industry that was facing a recession for some time has staged a turnaround since the beginning of 2002. Efforts are being made to boost demand. China has been an important export destination for Indian steel. The steel industry is buoyant due to strong growth in demand particularly by the demand for steel in China.
Global Scenario: The Asian countries have their respective dominance in the production of the steel all over theworld. India being one among the fastest growing economies of the world has been considered as oneof the potential global steel hub internationally. Over the years, particularly after the adoption of theliberalization policies all over the world, the World steel industry is growing very fast.Steel Industry is a booming industry in the whole world. The increasing demand for it was mainlygenerated by the development projects that have been going on along the world, especially theinfrastructural works and real estate projects that has been on the boom around the developingcountries. Steel Industry was till recently dominated by the United Sates of America but this scenario ischanging with a rapid pace with the Indian steel companies on an acquisition spree. In the last one year,the world has seen two big M&A deals to take place:-The Mittal Steel, listed in Holland, has acquired the worlds largest steel company called Arcelor Steel tobecome the worlds largest producer of Steel named Arcelor-Mittal.Tata Steel of India or TISCO (as listed in BSE) has acquired the worlds fifth largest steel company, Corus,with the highest ever stock price.It has been observed that Steel Industry has grown tremendously in the last one and a half decade witha strong financial condition. The increasing needs of steel by the developing countries for itsinfrastructural projects have pushed the companies in this industry near their operative capacity.
The most significant growth that can be seen in the Steel Industry has been observed during the period1960 to 1974 when the consumption of steel around the whole world doubled. Between these years,the rate at which the Steel Industry grew has been recorded to be 5.5 %. This roaring market saw aphase of deceleration from the year 1975 which continued till 1982. After this period, the continuousfall slowed down and again started its upward movement from the early 1990s.Steel Industry is becoming more and more competitive with every passing day. During the period 1960sto late 1980s, the steel market used to be dominated by OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperationand Development) countries. But with the fast emergence of developing countries like China, India andSouth Korea in this sector has led to slipping market share of OECD countries. The balance of trade lineis also tilting towards these countries.The main demand creators for Steel Industry are Automobile industry, Construction Industry,Infrastructure Industry, Oil and Gas Industry, and Container Industry.New innovations are also taking place in Steel Industry for cost minimization and at the same timeproduction maximization. Some of the cutting edge technologies that are being implemented in thisindustry are thin-slab casting, making of steel through the use of electric furnace, vacuum degassing,etc.The Steel Industry has enough potential to grow at a much accelerated pace in the coming future due tothe continuity of the developmental projects around the world. This industry is at present working nearits productive capacity which needs to be increased with increasing demand.
The following table gives a clear picture upon the major crude steel producers in the world as of theyear 2004.Country Crude Steel Production (mtpa)China 272.5Japan 112.7United State 98.9Russia 65.6South Korea 47.5F.R.Germany 46.4Ukraine 38.7Brazil 32.9India 32.6Italy 28.4
In the year 2004, the global steel production has made a record level by crossing the 1000 million tones.Among the top producers in the steel production, China ranked 1 in the world.Production of steel in the 25 European Union countries was at 16.3 mmt in January 2005. Production inItaly increased by 11.5 per cent in comparison to the same month in 2004. Italy produced 2.5 mmt ofcrude steel in January 2005. Austria produced 646,000 metric tones. In Russia it increased by 4.0 percent to reach at 5.5 mmt in January. In case of the North America region particularly in Mexico it was 1.5mmt of crude steel in January 2005, up by 8.0 per cent compared to the same month in 2004.Production in the United States was 8.3 mmt. Brazil had produced 2.6 mmt of crude steel in January2005. In South America region it was 3.7 mmt for January 2005.According to rating made by the “World Steel Dynamics", Indian HR Products are categorized in the TierII category quality of products. Both EU and Japan have ranked the top. USA and South Korea comes aslike India.
WORLD’S 30 LARGEST STEEL COMPANIES:- Crude SteelN Company Company Logo Country Company Picture Outputo Name per year (MT) 103,300,01 ArcelorMittal Luxembour g 0 37,500,002 Nippon Steel Japan 0 35,400,003 Baosteel China 0 South 34,700,004 Posco Korea 0
Crude SteelN Company Company Logo Country Company Picture Outputo Name per year (MT) Hebei Iron & 33,300,005 China Steel Group 0 33,000,006 JFE Holdings Japan 0 Wuhan Iron & Steel 27,700,007 China Group 0 (Wisco) 24,400,008 Tata Steel India 0
Crude SteelN Company Company Logo Country Company Picture Outputo Name per year (MT) Jiangsu 23,300,009 Shagang China 0 Group 23,200,0010 U.S. Steel USA 0 Shandong 21,800,0011 Iron & Steel China 0 Group 20,500,0012 Nucor USA 0
Crude SteelN Company Company Logo Country Company Picture Outputo Name per year (MT) 20,400,0013 Gerdau Brazil 0 19,200,0014 Severstal Russia 0 17,700,0015 Evraz Group Russia 0 16,900,0016 Gruppo Riva Italy 0
Crude SteelN Company Company Logo Country Company Picture Outputo Name per year (MT) Anshan Iron 16,000,0017 & Steel China 0 Group Thyssenkrup 15,900,0018 Germany p 0 Maanshan 15,000,0019 Iron & Steel China 0 Company Sumitomo 14,100,0020 Metal Japan 0 Industries
Crude SteelN Company Company Logo Country Company Picture Outputo Name per year (MT) Steel 13,700,0021 Authority Of India 0 India (SAIL) Shougang 12,200,0022 China Group 0 Magnitogors k Iron And 12,000,0023 Russia Steel Works 0 (MMK) Novolipetsk 11,300,0024 Russia Steel (NLMK) 0
Crude SteelN Company Company Logo Country Company Picture Outputo Name per year (MT) Hunan Valin 11,200,0025 China Steel Group 0 China Steel 11,000,0026 Taiwan Corporation 0 Techint Luxembour 10,400,0027 (Tenaris) g 0 Iranian Mines & 10,000,0028 Mining Iran 0 Industries (IMIDRO)
Crude SteelN Company Company Logo Country Company Picture Outputo Name per year (MT) Industrial Union of29 Ukraine 9,900,000 Donbass (ISD) Hyundai South 98,0000030 Steel (HSC) Korea
Major Players:Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) is the leading steel-making company in India. It is a fully integratediron and steel maker, producing both basic and special steels for domestic construction, engineering,power, railway, automotive and defense industries and for sale in export markets. The Government ofIndia owns about 86% of SAILs equity and retains voting control of the Company. However, SAIL, byvirtue of its "Navratna" status, enjoys significant operational and financial autonomy. Major units of SAILare as under: Integrated Steel Plants Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) in Chhattisgarh Durgapur Steel Plant (DSP) in West Bengal Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) in Orissa Bokaro Steel Plant (BSL) in Jharkhand Special Steel Plants Alloy Steels Plants (ASP) in West Bengal Salem Steel Plant (SSP) in Tamil Nadu Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Plant (VISL) in Karnataka Subsidiaries Indian Iron and Steel Company (IISCO) in West Bengal Maharashtra Elektrosmelt Limited (MEL) in Maharashtra Bhilai Oxygen Limited (BOL) in New Delhi Joint Venture SAIL has promoted joint ventures in different areas ranging from power plants to e-commerce.
NTPC SAIL Power Company Pvt. LtdSet up in March 2001, this 50:50 joint venture between SAIL and the National Thermal PowerCorporation (NTPC) operates and manages the Captive Power Plants-II of the Durgapur and RourkelaSteel Plants which have a combined capacity of 240 MW.Bokaro Power Supply Company Pvt. LimitedThis 50:50 joint venture between SAIL and the Damodar Valley Corporation formed in January 2002 ismanaging the 302-MW power generation and 1880 tonnes per hour steam generation facilities atBokaro Steel Plant..Bhilai Electric Supply Company Pvt. LimitedAnother SAIL-NTPC joint venture on 50:50 basis formed in March 2002 manages the 74 MW PowerPlant-II of Bhilai Steel Plant which has additional capacity of producing 150 tonnes of steam per hour.UEC SAIL Information Technology LimitedThis 40:60 joint venture between SAIL and USX Engineers & Consultants, a subsidiary of the US SteelCorporation, promotes information technology in the steel sector.Metaljunction.com Private LimitedA joint venture between SAIL and Tata Steel on 50:50 basis, this company promotes e-commerceactivities in steel and related areas.
SAIL-Bansal Service Center Pvt. Ltd.SAIL has formed a joint venture with BMW industries Ltd. on 40:60 basis to promote a service centre atBokaro with the objective of adding value to steel.North Bengal Dolomite LimitedA joint venture between SAIL and West Bengal Mineral Development Corporation ltd on 50:50 basis wasformed for development of Jayanti Dolomite Deposit, Jalpaiguri for supply of Dolomite to DSP andother plants.Romelt-SAIL (India) LtdA joint venture between SAIL, National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) and Russianpromoters for marketing Romelt Technology developed by Russia for reducing of iron bearing materials,which is carried out with carbon in single stage reactor with the use of oxygen.
Pricing Strategy: Rise in steel prices for the past two years has been the cause of concern of many user industries.Particularly, in some of the direct users and downstream segments where steel component is high, theimpact is a little harsh. Generally these fall under the category of building and other steel-structuredconstruction, tube-making, heavy machineries, bicycles, auto-components steel furniture etc. The abilityto absorb the increased cost of raw materials depends on the individual market competitiveness, whichis characterized by excess capacity, demand growth, export opportunities and other relevant factors.The construction sector, however, is guided by the escalation clauses in the tenders, which may absolvethe individual bidders to get away with equivalent compensation. In India these clauses are anarchic, tosay the least, and therefore the impact of rise in raw material expenses is felt heavy in construction.That brings us to the issue of retardation of investment in construction. Has the rise in steel cost led to adiversion of investment from construction sector to other areas? The answer is negative. A comparisonof Gross Capital Formation in Construction and also in Machinery and Equipment with steel pricemovement in the past years would show that there exists no negative relation between the two. Theavailability of any basic input at a low price always results in overuse of the material. Abundantavailability of steel in Russia in 60s and 70s brought about an overdose of steel use in many applicationsleading to overweight and more use of energy. When the prices rose, some amount of substitution tookplace. In India the emergence of plastic and PVC in place of galvanized sheets and hot rolled coils indrums, buckets and pipes, aluminum in place of cold rolled sheet in bus bodies, bumpers, auto-components, asbestos in place of galvanized corrugated sheets for roofing, point out the similarphenomenon. The current price increase in steel may only strengthen this trend. Apart from substitutioneffect, one positive fallout of price rise is the more parsimonious use of steel in various applications,which has made the user segment more quality-conscious.
Lot has been discussed on the probable reasons for steel price rise. This range from global price trendwhich shot up regularly since Q2 2003, the increased cost of inputs for steel making like coking coal,coke, iron ore and power, enhanced transportation cost resulting from rail freight and diesel price riseand burgeoning port handling charges - all leading to a higher cost of steel to the consumer. Price ofsteel went down sharply in 2001 and 2002. It had severely affected prospective investment in the sectorand almost dubbed the sector as dying. Indian financial Institutions including government-controlledbanks were genuinely perturbed over massive NPAs and debt-restructuring exercise became the onlymode of interaction between these institutions and steel-producing units. A look at some of thefinancial figures during the past few years for steel companies along with a few consuming units ascompiled by CMIE show interesting facts. Financial performance of Steel and a few related Industries Segment 1997-98 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 A) Steel Value of output (Rs.cr) 40944.9 49534.2 64934.6 76822.0 % Rise in raw material & stores expenses (%) 0.9 1.6 21.4 18.1 Interest Payments(Rs.cr) 4165.9 5367.0 5032.7 3944.9 Profits after tax(Rs.cr) (-) 1228.2 (-) 5706.4 (-) 466.8 4741.6 Total Borrowings(Rs.cr) 46461.8 51348.1 50967.6 45065.9 Investments(Rs.cr) 2558.0 4062.5 4294.6 5320.1 B) Steel Wires Value of output(Rs.cr) 1210.0 1496.9 861.5 1003.8 % rise in raw material & stores expenses (%) 12.7 6.7 (-) 1.1 29.4 Interest Payments(Rs.cr) 77.6 80.9 45.3 41.7 Profits after tax(Rs.cr) (-) 31.2 (-) 79.4 (-) 49.8 (-) 38.5 Total Borrowings(Rs.cr) 516.9 697.1 446.8 397.9 Investments(Rs.cr) 7.0 10.0 11.1 7.2
C) MachineryValue of output(Rs.cr)rrr 63545.2 77298.2 76564.6 82047.4% rise in raw material & stores expenses (%) 3.8 (-) 1.3 (-) 1.3 7.8Interest Payments(Rs.cr) 3961.4 4227.9 3746.4 3266.8Profits after tax(Rs.cr) 873.3 (-) 61.2 (-) 529.4 (-) 303.8Total Borrowings (Rs.cr) 25744.8 30030.2 28248.6 27273.8Investments(Rs.cr) 5315.3 8429.5 8098.7 8342.8D)Air conditioners & RefrigeratorsValue of output(Rs.cr) 2544.9 3267.8 2823.7 2844.5% Rise in raw material & stores expenses (%) 5.6 4.4 (-) 0.1 (-) 2.9Interest Payments(Rs.cr) 160.4 181.1 109.0 80.9Profits after tax(Rs.cr) (-) 133.4 (-) 234.5 (-) 229.3 (-) 225.1Total Borrowings(Rs.cr) 1147.3 1250.2 862.0 1066.2Investments(Rs.cr) 95.9 55.6 38.9 41.5E) AutomobileValue of output (Rs.cr) 33385.6 42321.9 46540.5 56957.2% Rise in raw material & stores expenses (%) (-) 7.6 0.3 10.4 24.3Interest Payments (Rs.cr) 1342.5 1447.8 1224.3 862.4Profits after tax(Rs.cr) 1796.9 380.2 1315.0 3084.7Total Borrowings(Rs.cr) 13142.7 14635.3 12466.5 7959.4Investments(Rs.cr) 4190.0 5532.8 6949.3 12187.8
Keeping in view the problem of averaging in making industry-wise analysis, where, for instance, mildcarbon steel producers could have been clubbed with alloy and stainless steel producers, the aboveanalysis throws many interesting highlights.High growth in value of output in steel in 02-03 and 03-04 reflects volume growth as prices weredepressed, while rise in input cost for steel was substantial. This was reflected in negative PAT in 02-03and nominal profits in 03-04, which could happen due to remunerative prices in Q3/Q4 of 03-04. Asborrowings maintained a significantly higher level, it is no wonder that interest accruals were quite high.It goes to the credit of the steel industry that investments were sustained at a reasonably high level. Insteel wire sector the negative growth in value of output reflects a recessionary condition in the endproduct market as rise in input cost was also negative in 02-03 which, however, went up sharply in 03-04and steel cost may be one of them. The Machinery sector went through a near recessionary condition in02-03 when value of output dipped with negative growth in raw material prices including steel. Thenegative PAT since 01-02 signifies constraints in the end user segments. Air conditioner and Refrigeratorsegment has not been affected much by input cost rise as shown by negative growth in raw materialcost in 02-03/03-04. In fact in whole of 02-03 and 03-04 the growth in consumer durable segment wasless impressive and this was mostly due to excess supply resulting from emergence of new playerscoupled with lack of consumer demand. Conversely the automobile segment had witnessed a significantrise in raw material cost in 02-03/03-04, which, apart from rise in steel cost may emanate from rise incost of auto ancillaries. As PAT of auto-ancillaries has gone up by 8.8 and 14.6 per cent in 02-03 and 03-04 respectively, it is logical to assume that increased cost of input (steel) has been passed on, at leastlarge part of it, on the finished products. It may be mentioned that value of output of auto-ancillarieswent up by an average 20 per cent during 01-02 to 03-04.
When the financial results of 04-05 would be available, the rise in raw material cost including steel, inthe user segments may exhibit a higher growth. To what extent it affects the bottom line of theseindustries, would be determined by the nature of competitiveness in each industry. The prices of almostall end products are increasing and this reflects the low price elasticity of demand in the presence of apositive income effect.The purpose of this analysis is not to list out reasons justifying increase in steel price. As a basic input forindustrialization the affordable steel price facilitates growth of all end-using industries. But a highcapital-intensive industry like steel must fetch a remunerative price to become self-sustaining and not tobecome a drag on national economy and a scare-field for the prospective investors.
Important Policy Measures: i. In the new Industrial Policy announced in July, 1991 Iron and Steel industry, among others, was removed from the list of industries reserved for the public sector and also exempted from the provisions of compulsory licensing under the Industries ( Development and Regulation) Act, 1951. ii. With effect from 24.5.92, Iron and Steel industry has been included in the list of `high priority industries for automatic approval for foreign equity investment upto 51%. This limit has been recently increased to 74%.iii. Price and distribution of steel were deregulated from January, 1992. At the same time, it was ensured that priority continued to be accorded for meeting the requirements of small scale industries, exporters of engineering goods and North Eastern Region of the country, besides strategic sectors such as Defense and Railwaysiv. The trade policy has been liberalized and import and export of iron and steel is freely allowed. There are no quantitative restrictions on import of iron and steel items, covered under Chapter No. 72 of the ITC (HS) Code. The only mechanism regulating the imports is the tariff mechanism. Tariffs on various items of iron and steel have drastically come down since 1991-92 levels and the government is committed to bring them down to the international levels. v. Freight equalization scheme was modified in January92, removing freight disadvantage to states located near steel plants in the country. At the same time, it was ensured that far- flung areas and distant states were protected by stipulating that the main producers charge either actual freight or freight element existing prior to withdrawal of the scheme, whichever is less.vi. Levy on account of Steel Development Fund was discontinued from April94 providing greater flexibility to main producers to respond to market forces.vii. Iron & Steel are freely importable as per the Extant Policy
viii. To check unbridled cheap imports of steel the Government has fixed floor prices for seven items of finished steel viz. HR coils, HR sheets, CR coils, Tinplates, CRNO and ASBR. ix. Iron & Steel are freely exportable. x. Advance Licensing Scheme allows duty free import of raw materials for exports.
Duties & Levies on Steel: Customs Duty- Peak rate for non-agricultural products reduced from 15 % to 12.5 %.- Customs Duty on stainless steel and other alloy steel has been reduced from 10 % to 7.5 %.Duty on non- alloy steel remains unchanged at 5%.- Duty on steel melting scrap has been raised to 5%.- Duty on refractories reduced to 7.5 %. Duty most of the raw material for manufacture ofrefractories has also been reduced to 7.5%.- Duty on ores and concentrates reduced from 5 % to 2 %. In respect of Ministry of Steel thiswould mean a reduction in duty of 3% on iron ore, manganese ore and chrome ore.- The Special Countervailing Duty (CVD) of 4 % to be imposed on all imports with a fewexceptions viz. ships for breaking, coal and coke etc. Full credit to be allowed to manufacturersof excisable goods.Service tax:Service tax rate increased from 10% to 12%.Direct Taxes:No change in rates of personal income tax or corporate income tax. No new taxes are also beingimposed.
Levies on SteelSDF LEVY- This was a levy started for funding modernization, expansion and development ofsteel sector.The Fund, inter-alia, supports :1) Capital expenditure for modernization, rehabilitation, diversification, renewal & replacementof Integrated Steel Plants.2) Research & Development3) Rebates to SSI Corporations4) Expenditure on ERU of JPC SDF levy was abolished on 21.4.94 Cabinet decided that corpus could be recycled for loans to Main producers Interest on loans to Main Producers is set aside for promotion of R&D on steel etc. An Empowered Committee has been set up to guide the R&D effort in this sector. EGEAF – Was a levy started for reimbursing the price differential cost of inputs used for engineering exporters. Fund was discontinued on 19.2.96.
FDI Rule & Competitors:The NSP has been approved by the Cabinet on3rd November, 2005. The Policy inter alia seeks toenhance the indigenous production to 110 million tones per annum by 2019-20 from the present levelof 38 million tones, implying a compound annual growth rate of 7.3%. This requires additionalinvestment of about Rs. 2,30,000 crores. This is expected to generate additional employment of around1 million by 2020.The basic objective is to ensure that India has a modern, efficient and globally competitive steel industryof world standards catering to diversified steel demand. On the demand side, the Policy seeks toenhance steel usage at various levels of the economy. On the supply side, the Policy proposes to adoptmeasures for removing major supply side bottlenecks like improving the availability of critical rawmaterials.With the upturn in the steel industry, the foreign companies/investors have started showing interest inthe investment by way of investing in the existing company or in setting up of Greenfield steel projects.In addition to above, POSCO, South Korea has proposed to set up a 12 million tonne steel plant in thestate of Orissa involving an investment of US$ 12 billion. Mittal Steel Company has also entered into aMOU with Government of Jharkhand for setting up a 12 million tonne steel plant involving aninvestment of US$ 9 billion.
FII in Steel Sector:Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) raised their stakes in most of the steel companies while individualinvestors sold a substantial chunk of their holdings in the big steel companies in January-June 2007.Individual investors, particularly the small shareholders having less than Rs 1 lakh investments, have soldheavily booking profits.According to analysts, this trend is an outcome of difference of perceptions between the two groups ofinvestors, one is the retail segment and the other is institutional buyers.FII holding in Steel Authority of India has gone up from 5.6 per cent in the beginning of January to 6.39per cent by June-end during which the holding of individuals has come down from 2.28 per cent to 1.89per cent.Similarly, in the case of Tata Steel, the FII holding has gone up from 18.11 per cent to 22.65 per centduring January-June, while individual holding has come down from 24.74 per cent to 22.2 per cent.In Jindal South West too, the FIIs have raised their stakes from 18.21 per cent to 21.17 per cent duringthe first six months while individual holding has come down from 13.89 per cent to 11.51 per cent.
ExceptionHowever, an exception is Essar Steel where FII holding remained static at 2.04 per cent throughout thesix months while there had been a marginal increase of 0.01 per cent in the case of Ispat Industries.Individual holding has come down in both these companies. Interestingly, while all the smallshareholders have been consistent in selling, large individual shareholders have raised their stakes inEssar in tandem with mutual funds and also in Ispat Industries where corporate bodies too have raisedtheir stake.According to Mr. P.K. Choudhury, Managing Director of credit rating agency ICRA Ltd, :“the smallinvestors have exited at what they thought was the right price and many of them had actually purchasedthe shares at the time of public issue.”“On the other hand the institutions, who buy the shares after proper analysis of the economicfundamentals, are still seeing better prospect for the Indian steel industry. The difference of perceptionis because the retail investors have opted for short-term gains while the institutions have taken theirstand for the medium-term,” Mr. Choudhury said.
Role of Government: The economic reforms initiated by the Government since 1991 have added new dimensionsto the industrial growth in general and the steel industry in particular. Accordingly, severalpolicy changes have been announced for the sector, from time to time, by the Government ofIndia. The major being, the New Industrial policy which had opened up the iron and steel sectorfor private investment by:- I. Removing it from the list of industries reserved for public sector II. Exempting it from compulsory licensing.Since then, the private sector has been playing an important and dominant role in production andgrowth of the steel industry. They not only enhance the productive capacity of primary and secondarysteel, but also contribute substantial value addition in terms of quality, innovation and costeffectiveness. During the period April-December, 2006, 20.5 million tonnes of steel has been producedby private sector steel units, out of the total production of 33.15 million tonnes in the country. Theprivate sector units consist of major steel producers like Tata Steel Ltd., Essar Steel Holdings Ltd., JindalSteel and Power Ltd. (JSPL), Ispat Industries ltd. (IIL) etc. as well as relatively smaller and medium unitssuch as sponge iron plants, re-rolling mills, electric arc furnaces and induction furnaces.Under the industrial policy, iron and steel has been made one of the high priority industries. Priceand distribution controls have been removed as well as foreign direct investment upto 100%(under automatic route) has been permitted, with a view to make the steel industry efficient andcompetitive. The trade policy has been liberalized making import and export of iron and steelitems freely allowable, with almost no quantitative restrictions on them. Other policymeasures such as convertibility of rupee on trade account, permission to mobilize resources fromoverseas financial markets and rationalization of existing tax structure have also benefited theIndian steel industry. Apart from this, the Government has envisaged considerable additions tocapacity in the steel sector specially from the sponge iron segment. It has also given licenses forsetting up electric arc furnace units (mini steel plants), which account for 30% of the steel
production in the country, producing mild steel as well as alloy steel. Further, all efforts arebeing made to ensure that the sector continues to meet the requirements of small scale industries,exporters of engineering goods and North-Eastern region of the country, as well as that ofstrategic sectors such as defense and railways.Another important initiative, undertaken by the Ministry, has been the announcement of theNational Steel Policy in 2005 which set out the Governments vision for future growth of thesector. The policy largely aims to develop a modern and efficient steel industry of worldstandards, catering to the diversified steel demands. It focuses on achieving globalcompetitiveness not only in terms of cost, quality and product-mix, but also in terms of globalbenchmarks of efficiency and productivity. It seeks to enhance indigenous production of steel to110 million tonnes (mT) per annum by 2019-20 from the 2004-05 level of 38 mT. This implies acompounded annual growth of 7.3 percent per annum.The increasing presence of the Indian steel companies in the world market with a wide-rangingexport basket, including technologically sophisticated products, is a pointer to the enhancedcompetitiveness of this industry. They are having an efficient and strong base, with rising levelof per capita consumption, which is promoting massive industrialization in the country as well asimproving standard of living of the people. Further, there has been an increase in the research,design and development activities, largely carried out by the existing iron and steel plants;national research laboratories; academic institutions; etc. The significant improvements havebeen made in the areas of iron and steel making processes, upgradation of raw materials, productdevelopment, and increase in productivity as well as reduction in energy consumption. All thisshows that there exists innumerable investment opportunities in the sector both for domestic andforeign investors.
Steps taken to boost steel industry: In budget 2004-05, the customs duty on non-alloy steel was reduced from 15 % to 10 per centand on alloy steel from 20 per cent to 15 per cent. In August 2004, the customs duty on non-alloysteel was further reduced from 10 per cent to 5 per cent; on melting scrap from 5 per cent tozero and on ships for breaking from 15 per cent to 5 per cent.Further, customs duty on several raw materials used by the steel sector like non-coking coal, metcoke and nickel has been reduced to 5 per cent and on coking coal to zero.To bring down the prices of steel, the excise duty on steel products was reduced from 16 per centto 8 per cent with effect from February 28, 2004 with a caveat that the duty regime will bereviewed. Budget 2004-05 revised this partially by increasing the duty from 8 per cent to 12 percent, as the intended impact of duty cut on moderating prices was not achieved.What is further needed: While the increase in the domestic prices of steel because of an increase in internationaldemand cannot be avoided, attention needs to be paid to the problem of adequate and reliablesupply of coal to the steel industry. Efforts are required for securing assured linkages of cokingcoal from overseas sources. Furthermore, cross-border investment in captive coal mines, especially for coking coal, inmajor source countries as well as investment for developing coal mines in India, needs to beencouraged. Further, the movement of raw materials and finished steel would need good rail androad network as well as substantial improvement in port handling, storage and haulage facilities.
Opportunities for growth:The New Industrial Policy RegimeThe New Industrial policy has opened up the steel sector for private investment by (a)removing it from the list of industries reserved for public sector and (b) exempting it fromcompulsory licensing. Imports of foreign technology as well as foreign direct investment arefreely permitted up to certain limits under an automatic route. Ministry of Steel plays the role offacilitator, providing broad directions and assistance to new and existing steel plants, in theliberalized scenario.The Growth ProfileThe liberalization of industrial policy and other initiatives taken by the Government have givena definite impetus for entry, participation and growth of the private sector in the steel industry.While the existing units are being modernized/expanded, a large number of new/greenfield steelplants have also come up in different parts of the country based on modern, cost effective, stateof-the-art technologies.At present, total (crude) steel making capacity is over 34 million tonnes and India, the 8th largestproducer of steel in the world, has to its credit, the capability to produce a variety of grades andthat too, of international quality standards. As per the ratings of the prestigious "World SteelDynamics", Indian HR Products are classified in the Tier II category quality products – a majorreason behind their acceptance in the world market.
Summary:Steel demand in India rose more than 8% in 2009, buoyed by the governments focus oninfrastructure and revival in the automobile and consumer goods sectors of Asias third-largesteconomy.With strong growth predicted for the auto and housing sectors in 2010, steel demand is set togrow in double digits.Global steel production, however, fell 8% last year as demand from key industries shrank amidthe economic downturn.Following are some key facts about Indias steel industry, which is witnessing growth ratessecond only to China.* Indias iron and steel industry contributes about 2% of gross domestic product, or about USD20 billion to the countrys USD 1 trillion economy.* India is now the fifth-largest producer of steel in the world, behind China, Japan, Russia andthe United States.It produced 55.1 million tonnes of the alloy in 2009, but is still only a tenth the size of China, theNo.1 steel producing country.* State-run Steel Authority of India is the largest producer, with capacity of 13.8 million tonnes.Tata Steel, the worlds No. 8 steelmaker, has capacity in India of 7 million tonnes, while JSWSteel is third with annual capacity of about 6.9 million tonnes.About half of Indias steel industry comprises a large number of makers of higher-end re-rolledsteel with less than one million tonnes of capacity each.* Indias steel producing capacity is likely to touch 120.62 million tonnes by 2011/12, accordingto the federal steel ministry. Based on planned projects, capacity could go up to 293 milliontonnes by 2020.Regional governments have signed 222 memorandums of understanding for planned capacity of276 million tonnes.* India has immense scope for increasing consumption of steel. Current per capita consumptionis around 40 kg, compared with 100 kg in Brazil, 250 kg in China and a global average of 198kg. Steel demand is expected to rise 5-6 percent annually until 2019-20.
* Indias growing status as a global small-car hub is drawing global steel makers, especiallyJapanese firms, to the country. World No. 2 steelmaker Nippon Steel is in talks with Tata Steelfor an automotive steel joint venture, JFE Steel has tied-up with Indias JSW Steel, whileSumitomo Metal Industries Ltd is considering a JV with Bhushan Steel.* Indian steel companies have been among the best performing stocks in 2009, widelyoutperforming the benchmark stock index.Shares of Tata Steel, SAIL and JSW Steel rose between 2-4 times during the year, comparedwith the 81 percent rise in the main BSE index.