A top company official said that Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL), one of the top steel manufacturers in the country, is expected to produce a record 7.5 million tonnes of alloy in this financial year.
JSPL aims to produce 19 percent more steel a year by March 2021, as it expects an eight-fold increase in its export orders, JSPL managing director Vidya Ratan Sharma told Reuters in an interview.
The company is expected to export 2.5 million tonnes of steel in 2020/21, up from 300,000 tonnes last year, thanks to higher orders from the world’s top consumers such as China and Vietnam, who need semi-finished products, Europe as well. Sharma said that Saudi Arabia needs flat products.
He said that the world is struggling with steel shortage, as well as demand from other major consumers is strong. JSPL has already sent more than half of its export target for this year.
“We have already exported 1.6 million tonnes till the export of semi-finished products and plates,” said Sharma. Since August, the company has added more customers in Europe, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, where demand for flat products, especially steel plates, has grown rapidly.
Despite tensions over a disputed Himalayan border between New Delhi and Beijing, Indian steel mills have more than doubled their exports to their highest level in six years in April-July, sparking a surge in sugar purchases.
Sharma said the demand for steel in India has increased from the defense sector, which needs alloy for shipbuilding and other activities. “There has been a sudden increase in defense demand,” he said.
In addition to shipbuilding, steel demand for cryogenic storage and load-bearing structures for armored vehicles has skyrocketed, Sharma said.
India is in the midst of large-scale defense modernization, under which ships, armored vehicles and helicopters are to be built in the country.
“The domestic market is very attractive,” Sharma said. “After October, 80% of our total steel sales will be within India.”