India’s crude steel production crossed another milestone after it crossed 100 million tonne (MT) in 2017, making it “very close” to Japan, the second largest steel producer in the world after China. SAIL and Tata Steel contributed the most in this achievement.
According to the latest provisional report of the Join Plant Committee (JPC), which is empowered by the Steel Ministry to collect data, India produced 101.28 MT last year (January to December), by registering a growth of 5.87% over 2016, which is a record. During the period April—December of 2017-18, Indian companies together produced 75.49 MT, which was against 72.20 MT during the same period a year ago.
The report says companies like Steel Authority of India (SAIL), Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), Tata Steel, Essar, Jindal South West (JSW), Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) together produced more than 43 MT during April–December 2017, which was a growth of 6.5% over the same period in 2016. The rest 32.10 MT came from other producers.
SAIL continued to top the list of steel producing companies with its different units together producing more than 11 MT. Among SAIL units, the one at Bhilai produced the most. Tata Steel, which has started production from its Kalinganagar in Odisha, came second with production figures of 9.40 MT.
At present, India is the third largest producer of crude steel in the world after China and Japan. As per report of the World Steel Association, the total crude steel produced by Japan was 104.8 MT in 2016. However, the association has not released its report for 2017 so far.
However, the association’s report of 2017 (till November) says India was about 3 MT behind Japan. While Japan produced 95.94 MT, India produced 92.47 MT during this period. India’s position vis-à-vis Japan will soon become clear after Japan releases it figures. This is to be noted that Japan’s production has shown negative trends in the last few months.
The increase in production has been possible due to aggressive push by the government to promote domestic steel sector and raise capacity. In May last year, the Cabinet cleared a new policy which aims to achieve steel-making capacity of 300 million tonnes by 2030 with an additional investment of Rs10 lakh crore. The government also approved a policy for providing preference to domestically manufactured iron and steel products in procurement by the government and its agencies.