Rising demand turns India from net exporter to net importer of steel in FY24

In a shift from its status as a net exporter of steel since FY17, India has become a net importer in FY24. The country recorded an overall steel trade deficit of 1.1 million tonnes (m), according to a CRISIL report.
The development highlights a dynamic change in the country’s steel trade landscape, largely influenced by surging domestic demand and increased imports from major steel-producing nations.
India’s imports of finished steel reached 8.3 mt in FY24, marking a substantial 38 per cent increase year on year. The primary contributors to this surge in imports were China, South Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. Chinese steel imports alone accounted for 2.7 mt, while South Korea and Japan exported 2.6 mt and 1.3 mt of steel to India respectively.
Notably, imports from Vietnam surged by a staggering 130 per cent on the year, positioning Vietnam as a significant steel exporter to India and reversing its previous status as a major importer of Indian steel.
The influx of steel product imports has outpaced India’s export growth. Despite an 11.5 per cent increase in exports of finished steel, totalling approximately 7.5 mt in FY24, the surge was insufficient to offset the growing volume of imports.
The increase in exports came from a low base and was mainly bolstered by the latter half of the financial year, particularly the last quarter, where exports rose by 37 per cent year on year.
Despite the challenges on the export front, the Indian steel industry has been buoyed by strong domestic demand. India’s steel consumption saw healthy growth of 13.6 per cent in FY24, reaching 136 mt.
This growth reflects the country’s ongoing infrastructure expansion and the vibrant development in related sectors.

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