Amid Covid-19 restrictions, steelmakers rely on exports to keep their businesses afloat. Covid has led to a slowdown in demand for rolled metal products, but some regions are already seeing an increase in steel product consumption. There has been some recovery, sector officials said, but the government needs to clearly state the support it is offering to recover demand.
Commenting on the state of the steel sector after the lockdown period, Bhaskar Chatterjee, Secretary General of the Indian Steel Association, said: “Demand was low in April and May 2020 due to a complete lockdown in the country. In June, the economy partially reopened and restrained action began with the hope of a recovery in demand. ”
“Steel producers are looking forward to a significant rebound in domestic demand from the third quarter of fiscal 2021,” he added.
Commenting on the overall strategy with which the industry is going to cope with the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic, Chatterjee said, “Steelmakers are now exporting their products as much as possible until domestic demand recovers.”
Stainless steelmakers have had a similar experience but are seeing a faster recovery in demand.
“Market demand in May increased to about 30 percent, in June it was even better – about 60 percent. We believe that Stainless Steel should be back to normal by the end of September. However, we must be careful with re-blocking in processing, trade and consumption centers. If re-blockages do not last long, we strongly believe that by the end of September or so, demand should return to Dock’s levels, ”said Vijay Sharma, director of strategy, government and business development at Jindal Stainless. “We were able to seize the export opportunities in May-June thanks to the trust and relationship we have established,” he said.