India is close to acquiring the second position in crude steel production if it continues with its current growth rate. The top spot belongs to China and India is behind the world’s second largest steel producer, Japan by just 7.9 million tonne (MT). India overtook the United States last year to become the third largest steel producing country after China and Japan.

According to the latest report of World Steel Association (WSA), India’s steel production during January-October 2016 grew by 6.8% to reach 79.5 MT, even as global steel output saw a 0.1% contraction. Japan produced 87.4 MT crude steel during this period.

As per the WSA report, China, the largest steel producing country, saw just 0.7% growth in the first 10 months and produced 673 MT steel. There was a decline in the output in Japan, the US and Russia by 0.4%, 1.6% and 1.4%, respectively.

The gap in production between Japan and India has narrowed down to just 7.9 MT. This gap, sources said, may further narrow down, as India has shown a 12.3% growth in October compared to Japan’s output growth of just 0.6%.

Steel industry sources said that though India’s position in the world order of steel production is unlikely to change this year as less than two months are left, next year India will be very close to Japan and may even surpass Japan’s production.

“Despite the global slowdown in the steel sector, India’s production has remained not only positive, but also the highest among the major steel producing countries in the world, including China and Japan. This is a matter of great satisfaction for the industry,” said a source.

According to sources, the increase in steel production has been possible after the Centre’s aggressive measures to help the domestic steel industry, as a result of which total steel imports have started coming down. Besides levying Minimum Import Price (MIP) on many items, the government also imposed anti-dumping duty on hot-rolled and cold-rolled steel products. Indian steel companies had jointly filed an application for initiation of anti-dumping investigation concerning their imports, following which the government swung into action to protect the interests of domestic industries.

Global steel production fell 0.1% to 1,333 MT during the period (January to December), compared to the corresponding period last year.

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