India has been under lockdown since March 22 and is now trying to open up factories and selected manufacturing operations in a phased manner before the official lifting of the lockdown on May 3. However, many COVID-19 hotspots around the country will continue to face severe restrictions even after May 3. The steel industry has been heavily impacted, with most plants shut down in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh at present.
The Material Recycling Association of India (MRAI) has been working with various government ministries and has been successful in obtaining relief for importers whose containers have arrived during the lockdown. The government has instructed all shipping lines and container freight stations to waive off detention, demurrage and ground rent charges for the entire lockdown period from March 22 to May 3. This measure will benefit hundreds of scrap importers across the country.
With many disruptions on the supply side, there is a view that there might be some shortage of scrap in the coming few months until normal economic activity is resumed in the various exporting countries. Until then, continued volatility in demand and pricing can be expected.
Nathani Group of Companies (IND), Vice-President of the BIR Ferrous Division