Indian steel industry poised for a good showing: minister

New Delhi: Showing a remarkable degree of resilience in the face of the global economic downturn, the Indian steel industry has moved to the third position in world steel production, in the first five months of this year, according to steel minister Virbhadra Singh, ranking after China and Japan.

Singh was addressing the third Steel Summit organized by trade body Assocham.

He pointed out that the move up the ladder for the Indian steel industry was the result of its cost competitiveness as well as various stimulus measures announced over the last eight months.

The minister also said that Indian steel consumption would continue to grow at a pace varying between 6-8 per cent in the current financial, fully supported by various fiscal, monetary and administrative measures being brought into play by the government.

The Indian steel industry has recorded a growth of nearly 3% in the first quarter of 2009, on the back of a 5.3 % increase in steel consumption and 3.4% growth in steel production, he said.

Steel secretary PK Rastogi said consumption of steel was up 5 per cent over the corresponding April – June period last year. He also pointed out that imports had fallen sharply, by 23 per cent, in June this year after a hefty rise of 21 per cent in the month of May.