Tata Steel, the country's largest private sector steel producer, has reported a 14 per cent drop in its sales volume at 1.07 million tonnes in the third quarter of the current financial year (2008-09), due to the global economic slowdown.
"The third quarter sales at 1.07 million tonnes was lower by about 14 per cent as compared to the corresponding quarter last year due to current economic slowdown," a statement from Tata Steel said.
Tata Steel had reported sales of 1.24 million tonnes in the corresponding quarter of the last fiscal.
Tata Steel completed the third quarter of FY09 with an increase in hot metal and crude steel production. Hot metal production at 1.70 million tonnes and crude steel production at 1.50 million tonnes was higher by 23 per cent and 17 per cent respectively as compared to volumes in the same quarter last year. However, production of salable steel during the quarter almost remained at the same level (1.24 million tonnes) as that of last year in spite of planned major shutdown of hot strip mill, the company said in a release.
However, sales of long products grew 27 per cent during the third quarter at 0.48 million tonnes.
Tata Steel commissioned third billet caster at steel melting shop and completed upgradation of roughing mill of hot strip mill as a part of 1.8 mtpa expansion of the existing units. Tata Steel is also continuing with its growth plan to reach the Jamshedpur Works capacity of 10 mtpa by 2010.
Tata Steel also won the coveted `Deming Application Prize' in recognition of its efforts towards practicing the TQM philosophy in its operation at Jamshedpur during the third quarter.
Tata Steel's Jamshedpur plat is the only integrated steel plant in the world, outside Japan, to have won this award, the company said in its release.
The newly commissioned blast furnace (known as H Blast Furnace) has ramped up and has produced more than 8,500 tonnes per day for many consecutive days as against the rated capacity of 7,150 tonnes per day. Its 50-year-old Merchant Mill also achieved best monthly production for 2 consecutive months during the quarter with an improved yield of 96.02 per cent as compared to 95.45 per cent last year. Yield of wire rod mill has also increased to 98.80 per cent from last year figure of 96.35 per cent.
Even as sales of flat steel products used by infrastructure and automobile industries dropped, long steel items meant for sectors like real estate and construction registered a 24 per cent growth in volumes at 0.48 millon tonnes.
During October-December 2008 Tata Steel's overall production grew to 23 per cent.
While its hot metal output surged to 1.70 million tonnes, registering a 23 per cent growth over the corresponding quarter of the last fiscal, its crude steel production stood at 1.50 million tonnes, up 17 per cent as compared to the same quarter last fiscal.
The company's salable steel production during the quarter stood at 1.24 million tonnes, which is similar to the volumes in the corresponding quarter last year, despite the planned shutdown of hot strip mill.
Though the steel companies worldwide are feeling the heat of global economic downturn, Tata Steel said it will continue with its brownfield expansions.
"Tata Steel is continuing with its growth plan to reach the Jamshedpur works capacity of 10 million tonnes per annum by 2010," the company said.