blue   Andhra Pradesh Bifurcation Casts Shadow on Iron Ore Mines Allocation to RINL
    Bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh may delay plans of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited of developing Bayyaram iron ore mines in Telangana region's Khammam district as the mines will fall in different state as reported by Business Standard.
RINL's Vizag Steel is located in Visakhapatnam in residual Andhra Pradesh, while mines that were allotted to the steel maker are situated in Telangana.
Though Mr P Madhusudhan CMD of RINL expressed keen interest to develop the mines, sources close to the development said that it may not be easy for the PSU to proceed after the state bifurcation as the new government in Telangana may review the earlier government's decision.
Mr Madhusudan said that “The PSU is keen to follow up the process for getting mines for captive purpose with the new government formation in Telangana. We will certainly ask the new government, it may take time, because we need captive mines to meet our expansion plans.”
Sources said that now the issue depends on the new government that will take over Telangana state. It is not clear whether it will be in favour of the allotment of mines to RINL. The decision to allot mines to RINL was widely criticised by all people including political parties. There is no further progress on the issue. It will be taken up with Telangana government only after the new government settles down. Until then there will not be any move from either side.
blue   Union Steel Secy Urges Industry Players to Achieve Target
    The Union steel secretary has called upon the steel industry in Jharkhand to augment its production as the country has to achieve 300 MTPA (million tons per annum) steel target by 2025.
Steel secretary, G Mohan Kumar urged upon the industry players and the Jharkhand government to exploit the growth potential to optimum level in achieving the set target as reported by Times of India.
Addressing the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Jharkhand council members in Beldih Club on Wednesday, Kumar said in this 21{+s}{+t}century, industry is the engine of the growth and therefore the industry should grow at rapid pace to be on par with the leading world economies. "Jharkhand is richest in natural resources and I firmly believe if the industry adopts sustainable development model then growth of the industry and society will go hand in hand," said Kumar addressing the AGM of CII. Admitting that manufacturing sector contributes 25% to the India's annual GDP, the steel secretary said augmentation in steel production and growth in the GDP are interlinked. "If the country has to achieve 300 MTPA in 2025 than the GDP ought to be at 9 to 9.5% (in 2025)," said Kumar. The steel secretary, who was in the city to tour the Tata Steel plant, said environment-friendly and welfare-oriented development is the need of the hour if the country has to march ahead cohesively.
“Taking lessons from the past shortcomings, the country remodeled its growth policy centered on inclusiveness and I look forward to the steel companies to adopt this model for a greater cause," said Kumar.
Jharkhand industry director Dipankar Panda, said the state government shall soon deploy State Industrial Security Force (SISF) personnel at industrial zones to ensure harmony.
"Possibly after May, SISF jawans will be deployed in the industrial zones like Adityapur and Jamshedpur to ensure safety of the lives of the corporate executives," said Panda announcing that state government is serious about industrial harmony in Jharkhand.
Earlier, CII Jharkhand Council chairman S K Behera informed the reporters that the first meeting of the joint panel, comprising secretaries of about 10 departments and CII members, has resolved to speed up the proposed Jamshedpur and Chakuliya airport projects. The meeting was held at the chief secretary's office on Tuesday.
blue   SAIL Posts 7% Sales Growth in Feb '14
    Backed by encouraging Q3 results, Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) continued the upward trend in its sales and production well into February 2014. The company registered 7% growth in sales in Feb '14 compared to the same month last year (SMLY). For the cumulative 11-month period Apr 13 - Feb 14, SAIL's concerted effort in increasing domestic sales as well as exports paid off as these grew by 8% and 33% respectively.
SAIL plants kept pace with the rise in sales, as the company produced 1 million tonne (MT) of saleable steel in Feb '14, marking a 7% growth over SMLY. The month also witnessed 4% production growth each in hot metal and crude steel, at 1.12 MT and 1.04 MT respectively.
SAIL Chairman CS Verma ascribed SAIL's growth trend to consistently good performance throughout the financial calendar. "Consistent growth in sales over the last few months has given us the confidence of reporting a better outcome in the coming months, which will further pick-up with the expected strengthening of the market," he averred.
blue   Automotive Market Needs More Time to Reflect Benefits of Excise Reduction
    The industry produced a total 1,811,276 vehicles including passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, three wheelers and two wheelers in February 2014 as against 1,734,851 in February 2013, registering a growth of 4.41% over the same month last year. The growth continues to be on account of growth in two wheelers production. The overall domestic sales during April-February 2014 grew marginally by 2.68% over the same period last year because of growth in Scooters and motorcycles sales.
The sales of Passenger Vehicles declined by (-) 5.91% during April-February 2014 over the same period last year. Within the Passenger Vehicles, Passenger Cars, Utility Vehicles and Vans dropped by (-) 4.60%, (-) 5.02% and (-) 18.30% respectively during April-February 2014 compared to the same period last year. The overall Commercial Vehicles segment registered a de-growth of (-) 19.71% in April-February 2014 as compared to the same period last year. Medium & Heavy Commercial Vehicles (M&HCVs) registered negative growth at (-) 25.89 % and Light Commercial Vehicles also dropped by (-) 16.56 %. Three Wheelers sales declined by (-) 11.33 % in April-February 2014 over the same period last year. Passenger Carriers and Goods Carriers declined by (-) 13.03 % and (-) 3.49 % respectively in April-February 2014 over April-February 2013.Two Wheelers sales registered growth of 6.11 % during April-February 2014 over April-February 2013.
Within the Two Wheelers segment, Scooters and Motorcycles grew at 21.43 % and 2.88 % respectively, while Mopeds declined by (-) 9.16 % in April-February 2014 over April-February 2013. During April-February 2014, overall automobile exports grew by 6.39 %. Passenger Vehicles, Three Wheelers and Two Wheelers registered growth at 6.44 % 16.40 % and 5.41 % respectively, while Commercial Vehicles declined by (-) 8.12 % during April-February 2014 compared to the same period last year.
blue   Indian Iron Ore Exports Fall 28% to 13 Million Tons in Last 11 Months
    The iron ore exports witnessed a 27.56% slump at 12.57 million tonne during the April to February period of the current fiscal due to continuation of the export duty. Federation of Indian Mineral Industries showed that India, once the 3rd largest exporter of iron ore had exported 17.35 million tonne of the mineral in the corresponding period of the last fiscal.
RK Sharma Secretary General of FIMI said that "This is a disturbing trend as exports have declined continuously in last few years due to imposition of export duty. We will continue to persuade the government to withdraw the export duty on iron ore as well as on iron ore pellets. This fiscal's iron ore exports are expected to come down by over 20% to about 13.5 million tonne to 14 million tonne from 18.37 million tonne in 2012 to 2013.” According to FIMI data, Paradip, Vizag and Haldia are the major ports accounting for the bulk of mineral exports. Indian iron ore exports have been hurt badly in last few years due to mining bans in Goa and Karnataka, leading to a drastic fall in domestic production. Besides an increase in export duty to 30% on both types of iron ore, lumps and fines in December 2012 also impacted the sector. However, China continues to be the biggest export market for Indian iron ore, though the quantity has declined by over 31% to 10.44 million tonne in April to February. Japan is the 2nd biggest market, where 1.65 million tonne ore has been shipped during the same period.
blue   Beni Asks Steel Companies to Set Up Rural Stockyards
    Government has asked major steel companies, including state-run SAIL, to set up stockyards in rural areas so that consumers save on time and cost of transportation. "We have asked leading steel players, including SAIL and RINL, to establish stockyards in rural areas for providing products required in construction and other applications. This will save time and cost of transportation for consumers and boost per man consumption," Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma told PTI.
blue   JSW Steel Feb Production up by 43 % at 9.63 LT
    JSW Steel recently reported a 43% jump in its crude steel production at 9.63 lakh tonnes (LT) for the month of February as reported by PTI. The Sajjan Jindal-headed company had recorded an output of 6.75 LT of crude steel in the same period of 2013. The figures include steel production from Dolvi facility of erstwhile JSW Ispat Steel, which has now been merged into JSW. The company's production of flat steel was up 55% at 7.99 LT, while production of long steel rose by 16% to 1.53 LT during the period, JSW Steel said in a statement.
JSW Steel is engaged in manufacture of flat and long products like H R coils, CR coils, galvanised products, colour coated products, auto grade / white goods grade Steel, bars and rods. Flat steel is largely used by automobile and consumer durables sectors, while long steel is utilised in the construction and infrastructure sectors. In 2012-13, JSW had produced 8.52 million tonnes of crude steel despite continuation of the iron ore crisis in Karnataka. The JSW scrip was trading at Rs 970.60 on the BSE at about 1 PM, up 2.47% from the previous close.
blue   RINL to Raise Prices by Upto Rs 1000 Per Tonne in March
    Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited has decided to increase prices of its various products by Rs 750 to 1000 per tonne with effective from March 1, 2014 following on the heels of other domestic steel majors like JSW Steel which have announced similar price hikes effective from next month.
The price increase has been prompted largely by rise in input costs, mainly price of iron ore and a steep hike in railway freight, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) said in a statement issued recently.
For the last two months, most of the steel producers, including JSW Steel, have increased prices expecting demand surge during the fourth quarter. It is also considered to be the best quarter in terms of sales following the end of monsoon with companies scrambling to meet annual targets.
blue   Welding Industry Set to achieve 320% Growth in 6 Years
    The Indian Institute of Welding (IIW-India, Established: 1966) the most grounded representative body of the Rs.5200 crore Indian Welding Industry claims that capital investments of over Rs.2100 Crores in new generation welding equipment are expected to be made by leading Indian fabricators over the next 3 years. These include Defence, Indian Railways, Ship Builders, Power Generators, Automobile manufacturers and all major players in Infrastructure & Construction. These new automated welding equipments integrate seamlessly with the production lines reducing power consumption and the welding time by 50%. This would lead to savings of 20 – 30 % in average welding costs and recovery of investment in a short span of 40 months.
IIW-India President P K Das adding a note of caution claimed that “Technical skill up-gradation and implementation of new processes and practices are a must to make this possible. Welders and welding technologists must embrace new materials with improved weld-ability and adhere to create and maintain a six sigma quality environment on the shop floor”.
The IIW-India will soon host the International Congress of the International Institute of Welding (HQ-Paris), where in more than 125 globally eminent welding scientists, academicians and practitioners are expected to share their knowledge on emerging welding technologies with over 2000 Indian participants. At the concurrent WELDINDIA 2014 exhibition leading welding equipment / consumable manufacturers from USA, European Union, Japan & China, are expected to showcase cutting edge technology never seen before in India. R Srinivasan Vice President (IIW – India) clarified that “Weld India 2014 is being held in association with FABTECH (USA) and will definitely match the grand welding expos witnessed in USA, Germany and China. Beginning April 9th 2014 the 4-day concurrent events are aimed at providing over 40,000 Indian visitors with exposure on par with the best in Global Welding & Fabrication Technology.
blue   Indian Steel Consumption Might Expand by 2-3% in FY14
    Steel consumption in the country might clock a growth of 2-3% in 2013-14, an industr expert has said. “The steel industry is facing sluggish consumption growth. We expect some improvement in Q4 period and the sector may see a growth of 2-3% in 2013-14," Institute for Steel Development & Growth (INSDAG) Director General Sushim Banerjee told PTI. The steel demand in the 10 month period (April 2013- January 2014) increased by only 0.5-0.6%.
Banerjee said traditionally in the Q4 period (April-March) demand and price remained bouyant, but this year long products were witnessing price pressure after slump in steel scrap price in the international market. He said crude steel production in April 2013-January 2014 period was 4.6% and for the full fiscal FY'14 it was projected to remain at around five%. Asked about the final report on the steel policy that aimed to increase Indian steel production capacity to 300 million tonnes by 2026 from 96 million tonnes now, Banerjee said he was not sure and it might come sooner as elections were knocking on the doors.
Despite sluggish demand and production outlook in FY'14, the scenario was likely to improve in 2014-15. "The industry expects some 10 million tonne capacity to be added from Greenfield capacity and greater capacity utilisation from the industry," Banerjee said.
blue   Steel Secretary Rules Out Closure of Iron Ore Mines in Odisha
    G Mohan Kumar, Union Steel Secretary ruled out the possibility of closure of the operating mines in the State. The Shah Commission in its report had recommended closure of 55 mines recently as reported by The New Indian Express.
The Union Secretary also denied that the steel industries in the State were facing raw material crisis due to closure of several mines following detection of irregularities in the mining sector. Kumar said reporters after a high level meeting with the senior officers of the State Government that “Odisha is the major State contributing towards enhancing steel production in the country and in the last 5 years many progressive things are happening in the steel sector.”
He said that “Since the State has largest reserve of iron ore; it can contribute substantially to the national target for production of 3000 million tonne of steel.”
Mr Kumar said that the Central Government has taken proactive measures for speedy clearance of statutory requirements. The States to ensure that projects do not suffer due to procedural delays.
The progress of major Central PSUs like SAIL, NMDC, RINL, OMDC and MSTC were reviewed. Issues relating to mining, forest clearances, renewal of mining leases, expansion of the SAIL units, long term raw material linkages, e auction of iron ore, environmental and other statutory clearances were discussed in the meeting and decisions were taken for quick resolution of the issues.
Similarly, the concerns of private steel producing units like Bhusan Steel, Jindal Steel & Power, Essar Steel, TATA Steel, POSCO India Limited, Monnet Ispat & Energy, Visa Steel and Jindal Stainless were discussed. The National Mineral Development Corporation offered to undertake iron ore exploration in unexplored areas. The proposal was accepted in principle for examination of the State Government.
blue   Maruti to Halt European Exports for 15 Months
    Beginning April June this year, Maruti will stop exporting cars to Europe reports Financial Express. The last European consignment of about 15,000 units of the A-Star will leave India in the next quarter, following which Maruti will halt European exports at least until September 2015. The Suzuki Celerio for Europe will be exported from Suzuki's Thailand plant as reported financial express.
The current A Star which is sold in Europe as the Alto has received a successor in the Celerio. The Celerio was world debuted at the 2014 Auto Expo, while the European premiere took place at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show earlier this month. When the Celerio goes on sale in Europe later this year, the hatchback will be shipped from Suzuki's Thailand plant. At Suzuki's Thailand plant, the Celerio will be made to comply with Euro 5 emission norms and will conform with current European legislations. The Celerio made in India however, is made in Euro 4 spec and as a result, cannot be sold in Europe.
While both versions share the same 1.0 liter 3 cylinder petrol engines, there are certain modifications made for Europe. The European Celerio's engine is named 'K10C' and features a stop-start system, while the Indian Celerio's engine is named 'K10B' and is devoid of this feature. While this move will lead to a dip of 10% in Maruti's exports, sources said that the company may increase exports to markets in Africa, Southeast Asia and South America. Recently at the Algiers Motor Show, Suzuki announced the launch of the Ertiga MPV and it's likely for Maruti to export the Ertiga to this African destination.
blue   JSPL to Stop Buying Metallurgical Coal from Australia
    Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) will stop buying coking coal from Australia in three months from now as its own mines there start shipping, a top company official said, a move that could further soften prices of the commodity.
Recent coking, or metallurgical, coal price settlements by major miners showed a fall in the price of all coal types for the first quarter of 2014, underscoring a weak demand outlook from steelmakers in Asia.
“We get 50,000 tonnes per month from our mine in Mozambique and another 50,000 tonnes we buy from Australia,” said V.R. Sharma, deputy managing director of Jindal Steel.
“But after three months we will not be buying because we have our own mines there,” he told Reuters late on Tuesday.
Jindal Steel, headed by billionaire lawmaker Naveen Jindal, got access to 650 million tonnes of coking coal resources in October after buying a majority stake in Gujarat NRE Coking Coal, the Australian unit of Gujarat NRE Coke Ltd.
Gujarat NRE Coking's two mines, located in New South Wales, are currently producing 1.5 million tonnes per year and are expected to have an output of 5 million tonnes by 2016. Australia is the world's largest coking coal exporter, with shipments expected to rise 6 percent to 163.9 million tonnes this fiscal year ending March 31.
Sharma said Jindal Steel's coking coal consumption will more than double to 2.6 million tonnes by 2016 as it expands capacity. About 80% of the coal will come from its mines abroad and the rest it will buy from the open market.
But unlike other Indian companies such as Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) and Neyveli Lignite Corp., Sharma said Jindal Steel was no longer looking to buy coal mines overseas as it has enough coking coal resources now. Reuters
blue Kirloskar Ferrous Starts Commercial Production at Koppal Plant
    Kirloskar Ferrous Industries announced that the installation of new high pressure moulding line has completed at Koppal plant in Karnataka and the commercial production has started with effect from recently. Earlier, the company's board had decided to install a new high pressure moulding line, to enhance the production capacity of castings. With the installation of this new moulding line, the production capacity of castings has increased by 48,000 million tonne per annum.
blue   RINL Expects Steel Demand to Rise
    Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL), the government-owned steel manufacturer, is positive on demand for steel in the coming months. Chairman and Managing Director P Madhusudan has said the global economy is expected to see good growth this yearas reported by Bussiness standard.
The case would be the same for the Indian economy, too, owing to the government's recent initiatives towards infrastructure development, he added. As several infrastructure projects had already been started across the country, there was firm demand for steel, especially for longs, Madhusudan said. As other sectors were also showing signs of a revival, RINL could capture adequate market for its additional production due from the company's new units from next month, he added. Madhusudan indicated steel majors were likely to consider further price increases.
blue   SAIL-led Group Hopes to buy Coal Assets in Poland
    A consortium led by Steel Authority of India Ltd, the country's second-biggest steelmaker, hopes to buy coal mines overseas in the next few months when it has completed due diligence on facilities in Indonesia, Mozambique and the United States as reported by Reuters.
Most steel producers in India, the world's No.3 coal importer, depend on overseas coal shipments and have been trying to buy mines in Africa and Europe.
JSW Steel Ltd, India's third-largest steel maker, has already bought U.S. mines that produce the coal used in steel making. Some other private companies have also acquired mines in Australia. India's demand for steel making coal is expected to triple by 2020/21, with about 90 percent of that coming from abroad.
"We're doing due diligence in three to four geographies such as Indonesia, Mozambique and the United States," said Ajay Mathur, chief executive of International Coal Ventures Ltd (ICVL), the consortium led by SAIL. Mozambique is logistically quite well suited for India, Mathur told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in the state of Goa.
"Whatever has come out of Vale and Rio's (operations) from Mozambique looks to be of good quality," he said, referring to the commodity giants' mines in the African nation. ICVL, whose five participating firms are all state-owned or state-controlled, has been scouting for mines since 2009 but has not been able to buy any yet as it is looking for big mines that can produce at least 50 million tonnes per year.
Mathur declined to say by when or where a deal would be sealed. When asked whether the group was close to buying coal assets in Poland as earlier reported by media, C S Verma, chairman of SAIL and ICVL, said "yes".
"We should be able to sign a deal in the next few months," Verma told Reuters. "We have already invested a lot in doing due diligence, appointing investment bankers. This shows how serious we are"
A SAIL spokesman, however, later said the company has yet to decide on buying assets in Poland.
Separately, Verma said SAIL would raise coal imports by 6 million tonnes to 18 million tonnes in the next two and a half years as it boosts it steelmaking capacity to 24 million tonnes from 17.5 million tonnes.
    This section is a compilation from various company press releases, business dailies &
trade publications.