Naveen Jindal reveals that JSPL's steel exports have spiked since Covid-19 outbreak
- Indian steel exports exceeded imports by 18% in FY 2020, registering strong growth after a slow start.
- The Coronavirus crisis could benefit the Indian steel industry further as Chinese ports are blocked. Indian steel makers could use this as an opportunity to increase their exports to Southeast Asia which relies on supplies from China.
- Leading Indian steel company
Jindal Steeland Power said that a majority of its steel exports are going to China, suggesting a reversal of trend wherein China was said to be dumping its steel in India.
The Indian steel industry has had a rollercoaster run in the last few years.
According to data provided by the Ministry of Steel, India had imported excessively between 2015 and 2016. It became a net exporter in FY2017 and 2018. In FY 2019, the balance turned in favour of imports yet again.
Here’s how India has exported and imported steel in FY 2020
According to government data, India has been a net exporter of steel with exports exceeding imports by 18% in FY2020. Gaining from this trend reversal is one of India’s leading manufacturers - Jindal Steel, with a capacity of 6.55 million tonne per annum (MTPA).
“Right now, we are exporting 80% of the steel that we are producing, and the majority of that is going to China,”
He further revealed that his company’s steel plants are operating at 75-80% capacity in the last two months. “All the time we say that China has been dumping steel in India, but right now we are able to export to China,” he quipped.
Jindal is betting on construction activity picking up to improve its sales in India
Though its export market has improved, the shutdown of businesses in India is affecting JSPL too.
In 2020, Jindal Steel and Power’s stock peaked on February 6 at ₹197.75. Since then, it has seen a massive crash, plummeting to as low as ₹63.20 on April 3. It has slowly picked up since the crash, but it is still more than 50% down from its February peak.
To improve his domestic sales, Jindal is banking on construction activity resuming after the end of lockdown.
“Before monsoons, people like to complete their civil constructions. We hope that these kinds of constructions will start (after lockdown ends),” Jindal said.
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