Success stems from a constant quest to create enduring value
Steel is a cyclical industry which goes through peaks and troughs of demand. The worldover the last few years have been marked by excess supply mainly due to large scaleexports from China which supplies half the world's steel. This resulted in downwardpressure on prices that left both primary and secondary steel producers struggling tomanage profitability.
In this context the year under review appears to have marked a turn in the cycle atleast as far as India is concerned. In crude steel production expanded to the extent thatIndia overtook Japan to become the world's second largest producer of crude steel withconsumption growth of 7.8%. Coupled with steady improvement of both global and domesticeconomies the Indian steel story is poised to leap ahead.
In economic terms Indian macro indicators remained healthy though not outstanding.During the year under review there was some overhang of demonetisation as well as negativeimpact of the more recent GST implementation that pegged back demand and limited privateinvestment. In our viewhowever the Government of India has successfully undertaken somelong pending policy and structural measures which positively impact long term growth andglobal competitiveness.
Despite the tepid situation in private investment the secondary steel industry inIndia was encouraged by growth in sectors where it is most in demand. The manufacturingsector which accounts for about 38A of steel consumption appeared to be onthe road to revival.
An example is the scorching demand for consumption of Alloy and SS which recorded 24%growth Sub segments of manufacturing such as machinery and equipment vessels andtrailers other transport and furniture also exhibited growth rates of 5.9% 11.8%12.7% and 7.5% respectively.
In global terms despite its rising stature as second only to China the Indian steelindustry still a long way to grow. Per capita finished steel consumption in the country isa meagre 60 kgs as compared to the global average of around 220 kgs. Fortunately India ismoving in the right direction with incentives such as "Make-in-India" financialsector refrms friendlier business and industry policies and rising global ratings.Specifically for the steel industry which has to battle cheap steel imports from ChinaSouth Korea and Ukraine higher customs duty and anti-dumping tariffs have also providedrelief. Most significant perhaps has been the approval of the National Steel Policy in May2017 which seeks to create a globally competitive steel industry in India with a targetof 300 million tonnes by 2030.
A number of other positive factors arise from the government's thrust on infrastructurebuilding. Social sector schemes like Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna-Housing for All SardarPatel Urban Housing Mission 100 Smart Cities Mission ( Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak YojnaUrban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small & Medium Towns National HeritageCity Development and Augmentation Yojana Bharatmala project 24x7 Power for Allinitiative (by 2019) Development of Industrial Corridors & National Investment &Manufacturing Zones 75000 MW Clean-Energy initiative (by 2022) are some initiatives thatare expected to give a fillip to the steel industry in the coming decade. The variousmacro factors are expected to give a natural boost to your company's products. Given theintegrated nature of our operations we believe we are well placed to take advantage ofemerging opportunities.
With a strong focus on cost optimisation efficiency quality improvement andflexibility to customer needs we are today a reputed player in various segments. Ourefforts at keeping abreast global technologies and adapting them for local conditions andmarkets is now widely recognised by discerning buyers.
At your Company we have always believed that enduring growth comes from creatingenduring value. This value derives from not only the technology and raw materials wecommand but from the strength and commitment of those associated with us. We areconfident that going ahead we will continue to meet expectations of all our stakeholderscustomers and employees as well as the larger society by providing enduring value.
With best wishes
Suresh Kumar Agrawal