After more than a month of an almost complete industrial shutdown in India, stainless steel mills restarted production in May under considerably different working conditions than before the COVID-19 outbreak.
To assure all employees of a healthy working environment, most mills have implemented new working practices in accordance with government-prescribed safety regulations. In order to comply with new regulations such as social distancing and reduced staff numbers, production capacity has suffered.
The reverse migration of people in response to lockdown measures creates workforce challenges while restrictions on interstate movements pose logistical problems. Moreover, micro and medium-sized mills, which normally account for around 45% of India’s stainless steel production, have been affected most seriously owing to lockdown-related credit flow constraints. Needless to say, lockdown has also disrupted demand.
With all these challenges facing India’s stainless steel producers as they restart business under the “new normal”, mills are currently producing at 60-80% of capacity. However, as India is still reliant on imported stainless scrap, availability of which has been reduced owing to global shutdowns, Indian demand is still relatively strong.
Nimomet LLC (ARE)