Editorial November 2016

Global iron & steel industry continues to remain under stress but it seems that the stress is gradually reducing.

For the last few years, most of us believed that the future of western world countries (or developed world countries) is not so bright as compared with countries in Asian region. It was argued that the economic curve for the developed countries has already been platued and there is not much possibility of further economic growth. The regions like EU, US also manifested similar situation with mostly stagnated or falling economies. But now it seems the situation is taking a turn. The US economy seems to be doing better for the last few months and today the industry sentiment is quite positive. Of course, nobody is very sure about what policies the new president Mr.Donald Trump will adopt but it is believed that he will be industry friendly. Similarly, EU is also showing signs of marginal recovery and the industry sentiment is bit positive than the last year. This in my opinion is a big change in that region. Industry analysts expect EU’s economy to improve marginally in 2017 and 2018.

In last few months, many countries have imposed anti dumping duties on cheap imports, especially from China. This has surely helped the domestic industry to consolidate its position. India too imposed MIP (Minimum Import Price) and this has definitely given some cushioning to Indian mills. The H1 results of most of Indian steel mills are better than those in the corresponding period of the last year. It is also understood that China was successful in closing down the excess steel making capacity to the extent of around 50 MT in 2016. This will further help the iron & steel steel industry in many countries to have a stress free journey to a better future.

India’s position remains strong amongst this turbulant time. Its steel production showed the highest growth rate among big steel producing countries. The economy seems to be on track. Yes, there is a temporary set back to the demand side due to demonitisation of currency notes but experts feel that this should get over by the year end and things will be more or less normal.

It seems global iron & steel industry will see better days in coming months !

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