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China, South Korea and Japan together accounted for more than three-fourths of the 3.60 million tonnes (MT) of steel imported into the country in the first half of this fiscal. While China was at the top with 1.08 MT during the April-September period in 2016-17, South Korea was second with 1.02 MT. Japan, last in the list, exported 5.60 lakh tonnes (LT) of the metal to India during the period. On the brighter side, steel imports have declined by 37 per cent to 3.60 MT in the first half of this fiscal compared to the year-ago period, data from the Steel Ministry's Joint Plant Committee (JPC) showed. According to JPC: "India remained a net importer of total finished steel during April-September 2016-17 but emerged as a net exporter of same during September 2016." Steel exports from India shot up by 111 per cent to 0.66 MT in September 2016 over September 2015. Another silver lining is the contraction in steel imports in October and April-October period. Imports of the metal in October 2016 fell by 55 per cent to 0.54 MT against October 2015 and by 12.4 per cent compared to September 2016.
During April-October 2016-17, imports fell by 40 per cent to 4.14 MT compared to the year-ago period. However, demand for steel in India fell for the second consecutive month in October -- a development that does not bode well for the industry that is already reeling under a subdued business sentiment. Steel consumption fell by 0.5 per cent to 7.11 MT last month compared to September 2016, while on a year-on-year basis, it fell by 1.4 per cent over October 2015, the latest JPC data showed. Steel consumption in September 2016 stood at 6.73 MT, a decline of 7.7 per cent over the previous month. However, as compared to September 2015, it rose by 7.6 per cent.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)