Advances, Challenges, and Global Position in India’s Steel Sector in 2024

  • With the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) plan 2.0, the Indian government is focused on the steel business and securing raw material availability by 2024.
  • These activities were recognised by the Minister of State for Steel, who emphasised the promotion of scrap usage in steel production.

Recovery and Growth Post-Pandemic 

  • Resilience: Following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-21, the steel sector has showed a remarkable comeback.
  • From April to November 2023, crude steel output jumped 14.5% year on year to 94.01 Million Tonnes (MT), while finished steel consumption increased 14% to 86.97 MT.

Goals and Technological Progress

  • Capacity Target: India wants to reach 300 MT installed steel manufacturing capacity by 2030, up from roughly 161 MT today.
  • Innovation: Efforts are being made to incorporate artificial intelligence and new technologies in order to increase steel output while lowering carbon emissions.

PLI Programme and Industry Expansion

  • PLI Scheme 1.0: The first phase sought to increase speciality steel output by approximately 25 MT.
  • Steel players are increasing their capacity, with the government streamlining project clearances and making commercial operations easier.

Problems and Concerns

  • Rising Imports and Costs: The industry is confronted with issues such as rising imports, high raw material prices, and geopolitical uncertainty.
  • Dependence: Coking coal, a vital raw element for steel manufacturing, is heavily imported into India.

India’s Role in the Global Steel Industry

  • India’s Development: India, the world’s second-largest steel manufacturer, has experienced rapid expansion, greatly contributing to the global steel sector.
  • In recent years, India has outperformed China in terms of growth rate, yet China remains the greatest producer.

Import and Demand Dynamics

  • Steel consumption in India is led by the construction sector, which is fueled by government infrastructure spending and private investment.
  • Import Controls: To combat steel dumping, the government has imposed anti-dumping duties and other obstacles, primarily from China and Vietnam.

Price Trends and the Future

  • Domestic Prices: Indian steel prices have risen due to high demand, but global uncertainty may have an impact on future price increases.
  • Domestic pricing changes may be influenced by global economic recovery and price movements in the United States and Europe.

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