Demand for steel in India is unlikely to recover till the third quarter of this fiscal, according to a survey by credit ratings agency Crisil. Nearly 60% of the respondents said they expected demand to recover from the third quarter, as infrastructure and construction activities gather pace, migrant workers return to work, and the fiscal measures taken by the government improve availability of funds.
India’s economy will shrink by 3.2% in the current fiscal, the World Bank said. However, the Indian economy is expected to bounce back in 2021. In India, growth is estimated to have slowed to 4.2% in the fiscal year 2019-20 and output is projected to contract by 3.2% in fiscal year 2020-21, when the impact of COVID-19 will largely materialise.
Moody’s Investors Service, Fitch Rating and S&P Global Ratings have all predicted a 4-5% contraction in India’s economic growth rate during April 2020 to March 2021 fiscal.
As per industry body Worldsteel, India’s steel demand is likely to face a sharp decline of 18% in 2020, while global steel demand is expected to contract 6.4% to 1,654 million tonnes due to the COVID-19 crisis. According to official figures, India consumed over 100 MT steel during 2019.
India has decided to set up a coaltrading platform, taking a giant leap towards completely throwing open the sector to market forces as the country gears up for commercial coalmining auctions, which will increase the number of sellers of coal.
The country’s coal import dropped by 20% to 18.93 million tonnes last month, industry data showed. The government is planning to bring the country’s ‘avoidable coal imports’ to zero by 2023-24. Demand for coal import is expected to remain subdued in the short-term given the high coal stock levels in pithead and power plants, according to mjunction. The coal import in May last year stood at 23.57 million tonnes.