Depressed prices and sluggish markets has hit the public sector steel companies SAIL and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) hard and eroded their combined revenues by over Rs 500 crore during December 2014 alone, the steel ministry has told cabinet secretary Ajit Seth.
Projecting a dismal picture of the steel industry, steel secretary Rakesh Singh had written to Seth on January 12 saying that the net steel production in the country has dwindled by 2.46 per cent in December last year to 7.52 million tonne (MT) as compared to the same month the previous year, while consumption too, recorded a fall in growth to 1.68 per cent at 6.62 MT.
While SAIL’s production of saleable steel was up by 4.20 per cent to 11.92 lakh tonne for the month, “its sales realisation at Rs 942 crore in December 2014 decreased by 13 per cent against Rs 1,081 crore recorded in the same month the previous year,” Singh told Seth.
RINL too, has not fared well as its output of saleable steel was up by a mere 0.36 per cent to 2.73 lakh tonne in December last year and its sales turnover was Rs 924 crore for the month against Rs 1,292 crore for December 2013. However, state-run iron ore miner NMDC registered 22.33 per cent increase in sales realisation at Rs 1,375 crore in December last year against Rs 1,124 crore in the same month in 2013, Singh pointed out.