New information released in May by the International Stainless Steel Forum, a nonprofit research and development organisation, indicates that India is now the world’s second-largest producer of steel in the world, after China.
India’s growth over 2016 shows a monumental increase of 9%, up from 3 million tons of stainless steel to 3.23 million tons of stainless steel. In 2016-2017, the increase is closer to 11%, although steel companies are looking consolidating now, according to Ajay Bhat, CFO of Monnat Ispat. The move into second place displaces Japan, who dropped down into third place. The rise represents a significant point of pride for India, which has been trying aggressively to boost its manufacturing prowess.
The president of the Indian Stainless Steel Development Association, or ISSDA, K.K. Pahuja, said that “This is a major moment for our stainless steel industry. ISSDA seeks continuous political support from the Indian government to help the Indian stainless steel industry ascend to newer heights. ISSDA will keep working with all our stakeholders to help stainless steel oriented solutions for more sustainability and growth.”
Leading the way in the industry are key players such as Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) - Salem, Jindal Stainless, Viraj Profiles Ltd, BRG, Sunflag Iron & Steel and Panchmahal Steel. These firms, along with ISSDA, are paving the way for sustainable housing, automotive, and rail initiatives.
They’re pushing for not just commercial projects but also domestic works. As consumers increasingly look to not just style and affordability, but also durability and suitability (think weather), stainless steel is the only material that can deliver on all fronts. It is, therefore, the leading choice for the infrastructure of a house. It won’t warp or twist, won’t, be susceptible to termites or bores, and is recyclable and durable. It’s long life span means that you won’t be searching for new material in ten years to bolster your dream home.
Steel also has other benefits. It’s strength to weight ratio means that it can span longer distances than wood, leading to less material usage. Less material used means that more material can be transported at any one time, lowering transport costs - from driver costs to fuel costs. Steel can be recycled and reused; leading companies are producing steel with 30% recycled material and that number is expected to rise.
Steel’s long lifespan and durability means that it’s one of the most sustainable products on the market. India’s market, assisted by ISSDA and the Indian government, are focusing on national infrastructure, from the domestic housing market to sanitation as well as waste management facilities. These initiatives will push the domestic steel industry into the forefront of global steel production. At the moment, India has a low per capita consumption of steel, but the expected rise in consumption is due to the increased infrastructure - the sustainable housing automotive, and rail industries mentioned above.
Additionally, the Indian steel industry expects to export more and more to global markets like Europe and the United States. This increase has “established Indian producers which are capable of producing more quality material from some of the latest state of the art mills which meet stringent quality parameters,” according to K.K. Pahuja.