Editorial – June 2023
I am very happy to present ‘Steelworld’s annual issue comprising of insightful conversations, techno-commercial articles/features and an elaborate section on statistics. Since last several years, ‘Steelworld’ has been publishing the ‘Annual Issue’ and is being received well by the industry. After covid, due to the expansion of digitalization, the magazine reach increased manifold and started reaching the desktops of iron & steel industry executives across the globe. After the covid pandemic was over, the steel industry was about to menifest a V shaped recovery, atleast the experts were predicting that. The demand was growing and the disruptions in the supplychain were being fixed. With the government’s emphasis on infrastructure development, ‘Steel’ was supposed to have a clear ride in coming months. The process had already started but the Ukraine – Russia war extended beyond the expectations of most of the analysts and the global supply chain again got disrupted to some extent. As Ukraine and Russia both were big suppliers of semies to the world, the demand supply balance got disturbed to some extent. Eventually the steel fraternity learnt to live and operate in spite of the constraints created by the war and today even if the war has not ended, the international steel trade is not much affected by it.
I would say the Indian story is quite positive but not very outstanding. Yes, the consumption is increasing steadily. The infra dev projects are progressing steadily. Auto industry is doing good but not great. The exports are reduced mostly due to economy stagnation in EU and the other developed countries. Still with the prediction of more than 6% annual growth, India remains the fastest growing large economy on the planet and continues to attract many overseas companies to participate in this growing market. Since last few years, the efforts to reduce the carbon footprint in the steel production have intensified. Hydrogen is seen as the replacement to carbon but the full scale commercialization is not yet achieved. We do get the nes of sucessfull steelmaking with 100% hydrogen but still a long way to go before the industry adopts it as a regular practice. Green Steelmaking in real sence is still quite far but we, as an industry, are certainly going in that direction.
Where does India go from here? Will the growth continue? Will India enter recession in coming months? Well, the present situation is so volatile and uncertain, it is quite risky to predict the future. Nobody knows the fate of Ukraine – Russia war, one can not foresee the next move by Chinese govt, the situation in many countries in the Middle East remains fluid. All these geopolitical factors will have a big impact on the global economy and also on iron & steel industry. My estimation is that India will continue to grow in this year aided by a good monsoon and if the economy grows, the iron & steel industry has to grow, isn’t it?