The country's exports of finished steel fell 37.3 per cent to 5.15 million tonnes (MT) in the April-January period of the current financial year, according to official data.
The country had exported 8.22 MT of finished steel during the corresponding period a year ago, the Joint Plant Committee (JPC) said in its latest report.
The imports of the total finished steel grew 1.5 per cent to 6.55 MT during April-January of 2018-18, compared with 6.45 MT in the year-ago period.
During January this year, the exports stood at 0.47 MT, down by 22.8 per cent from 0.61 MT in January, it said.
"India was a net importer of total finished steel in April-January 2018-19 and imports stood at 0.638 MT in January 2019, up by 79.2 per cent over January 2018," the JPC said.
Production of the total finished steel, the JPC said, grew 4.4 per cent to 109.18 MT from 104.56 MT in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.
In January, the production of finished steel at 11.58 MT was up by 1.8 per cent over January 2018.
During April-January 2018-19, "India's consumption of the total finished steel saw a growth of 7.8 per cent at 79.96 MT over the same period of last year, under the influence of a rising indigenous supply side. Consumption stood at 8.411 MT in January 2019, up by 6 per cent over January 2018," the JPC said.
India has set a target of ramping up its steel production capacity and per-capita steel consumption to 300 MT and 160 kg, respectively, by 2030-31.
JPC, under the Ministry of Steel, is the only institution in the country that collects and maintains data on the domestic iron and steel sector.