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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Steel consumption up 9.6% in April

Steel consumption rose 9.6 per cent to 4.14 million tonnes (mt) in April 2010, on account of steady demand from sectors such as automobiles, white goods and construction.

Consumption was at 3.78 million tonnes in the year-ago period.

Production during the reporting period rose 5.3 per cent to 4.9 mt over 4.6 mt tonne in April last year, according to the provisional data of the steel ministry.

Imports surged 47.9 per cent to 6.6 lakh tonnes during the period, thereby further increasing the domestic availability of steel and putting pressure on local prices.

However, steel makers like JSW Steel raised prices by around Rs 2,000 a tonne, citing demand and high input cost.

Exports continued to slide and dropped 34.8 per cent to 1.84 lakh tonnes in April, revealing the slow pace of recovery in main steel import destination--the US and the European markets.

Tata Steel and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam reported 4.7 per cent provisional growth to 5.4 lakh tonnes and 19.8 per cent increase to 2.02 lakh tonnes, respectively in saleable steel production, in April over the same period previous fiscal.

According to the official data, state-owned SAIL's output in the reporting month remained at last year's level of 9.9 lakh tonnes. The figures are provisional and could not be confirmed with the companies.

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