Two very different stories are being told at present by the Indian steel industry: primary producers with captive iron ore mines and coal linkages are seeing record profits and stock prices, increased production and strong exports of hot rolled coil and other flat products; conversely, secondary steel producers who rely mostly on ferrous scrap for raw material and who mainly make rebar for the construction sector are yet to see such growth as demand for long products is still lagging in India owing to various COVID-related disruptions over the last 15 to 18 months. This is has actually resulted in ferrous scrap imports falling more than 20% year on year.
Meanwhile, Pakistan and Bangladesh are continuing to show a healthy appetite for ferrous scrap imports given the strong steel demand in their countries. Their governments have announced infrastructure spending packages which are expected to keep steel demand firm in the near term.
Vessel space for bulk cargoes and container availability continue to be a concern for the recycling industry. Freight rates have risen even further and current challenges on the supply side of the logistics chain are expected to persist.
Nathani Group of Companies (IND), Vice-President of the BIR Ferrous Division