State-owned SAIL has been asked by the Steel Ministry to increase presence in the global steel market by making available special products in emerging economies.
SAIL exports only 3-5% of its saleable steel.
Reviewing the performance of the PSU at its central marketing organisation (CMO) headquarters in Kolkata, Steel Secretary G Mohan Kumar advised the company "to further widen its international presence and reach value-added steels to newly emerging markets across the world".
A statement by SAIL said that Kumar urged its marketing team to overcome the challenges of the sluggish market by utilising the opportunities that will come from SAIL's ongoing modernisation & expansion drive.
Kumar's suggestion comes on the heels of a parliamentary panel asking the company to strengthen its global presence.
He evinced keen interest in the variety of stainless steel products produced by SAIL's Salem Steel Plant.
During the just concluded financial year 2013-14, SAIL achieved 7% growth in domestic sales to 12.1 million tonnes, as against 11.3 MT in the previous fiscal.
Exports saw 28% jump, although on a small base.
"SAIL-CMO recorded a growth of 3% and 9% in sales of long and flat steel products respectively, despite a subdued market during 2013-14," the statement said.
Emphasis on value-added steel sales enabled SAIL to market 2.2 lakh tonnes of special steels, of which nearly one lakh tonnes comprised stainless steel, it said.
This is part of the overall production of 5.3 MT of special quality steel produced by the company in FY'4, it said, adding that the year also saw SAIL supplying special quality slabs to meet the requirements of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre.
"In the current financial year, CMO's product basket will be enriched with high-quality wire rods as well as auto-grade cold rolled steel from the brand new mills which have come up up at SAIL's IISCO Steel Plant and Bokaro Steel Plant, respectively," the company said.
The domestic steel giant has undertaken a Rs 72,000 crore modernisation and expansion plan to take its hot metal capacity to 23.46 million tonne per annum, from 14.23 MTPA at present.