‘Centre’s focus on rural infra to boost local steel demand’

Tata Steel is optimistic about the demand for steel in India in 2021, said its CEO and MD T.V. Narendran in a year-end letter to employees on Wednesday.

“Firstly, we are seeing an inflow of funds from across sectors and an uptick in the overall consumption.

“Secondly, the government’s efforts of improving infrastructure, coupled with the ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ policy and the Production Linked Initiative (PLI), are bound to further boost the money inflow into the system,” he said.

“Further, government focus on rural infrastructure projects will also give an impetus to steel demand,” he added. Given all of this, he said the steel demand in the country should grow at least at the rate of GDP growth or higher in FY22.

“Typically, this is the trend in a developing country though traditionally in India, steel demand has been lower than the GDP growth rate,” he added.

Mr. Narendran said globally, steel prices were likely to stay firm as China was not expected to export large volumes owing to a better balance in their domestic market. “We are optimistic about the overall demand for steel,” he said.

On iron ore, he said prices had risen sharply primarily because China had recovered ‘quite well’. Coal prices have softened due to geopolitical issues between China and Australia. So, more coal is available from Australia, he said.

“We are certainly back to where we were before the pandemic and we expect the trend to continue through FY22,“ he added.

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