Stainless steel production slows down in India in CY 2019





Press Release




Stainless steel production slows down in India in CY2019: ISSDA


Total production grows by 5% over CY2018 compared to 7% growth in CY2017; overall production in 2020 to drastically drop due to COVID-19

New Delhi, 20th April: India registered a total stainless-steel melt production of 3.92 MT in CY2019, witnessing an increase of 5% year-on-year, as per the latest figures released by International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF), the Brussels-based body of World Steel Association.  While India retained its spot for the second largest stainless steel producing nation in the world after China, for the third consecutive year, growth in production has slowed down to 5% as compared to 7-8% achieved in previous years. The global stainless steel melt production in CY2019 was recorded at 52.5 MT, registering an increase of 2.9% year-on-year as per latest data released by ISSF. For CY2019, China’s production figure accounted for more than 50% of the global stainless steel production and stood at 29.4 MT.

Commenting on this development, Mr K K Pahuja, President, ISSDA said, “India continues to remain a bright spot globally in terms of stainless steel consumption. The industry’s continuous efforts to expand the spectrum of stainless steel applications and focus on R&D have yielded good results. Moreover, combined efforts of ISSDA and the Indian stainless steel industry, with Government’s timely support, have resulted in stainless steel consumption growing at 8-9% CAGR in the country. However, this demand is increasingly being captured by imports, with 20-25% of the flat product market relying on imports. The current pandemic situation, wherein our manufacturing is locked down but other major producing countries continue to operate and build inventories, is worrisome. There are trade sanctions in Europe and elsewhere to protect markets and the Indian Government must take prompt action to safeguard our interest and save livelihoods at this critical time.” This slowdown in production, despite adequate capacity, can be attributed to a surge of almost 50% in imports of stainless steel flat products last year. This has been aided by unregulated dumping as well as Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) signed by India with ASEAN countries, much to the detriment of the domestic industry. This has, in turn, led to a significant impact on capacity utilization levels, currently at around 60%.

Meanwhile, stainless steel production in China has registered a growth of ~10%. Moreover, steep growth in Indonesian stainless steel production, on the back of new capacities being added by Chinese companies, has also been observed over the last two years. Surplus production from these countries is being exported worldwide at predatory prices leading to severe distortions in the market.

The Indian stainless steel industry is struggling to revive operations given the COVID-19 lockdown as per government’s guidelines. It is estimated that the lockdown will amount to a weak domestic production in CY2020. Hence, the government needs to impose immediate restrictions on imports to push local manufacturing and increase their capacity utilization. ISSDA has submitted suggestions to the government on graded start, safety precautions, reassuring manpower, demand stimulation, supply chain revival, and assistance to the MSME sector.   


Established in 1989 by leading stainless steel producers, Indian Stainless Steel Development Association (ISSDA) was formed with the explicit objective of diversifying the applications of stainless steel and increasing usage volumes in the country. At the time of inception of ISSDA, the main visible application in daily life was essentially household kitchenware, which has now diversified significantly. Through the focused efforts of ISSDA and its member companies, the widespread and visible use of stainless steel in different walks of life is all too evident, especially in the Architecture, Building & Construction (ABC) and the Automotive, Railway and Transportation (ART) sectors. The technical strength of ISSDA is derived from its close association with the Nickel Institute, the International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF), and close collaboration with more than 20 stainless steel development associations around the world. As a result of these efforts, India has now emerged as the second largest stainless steel producer and consumer in the world.


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