2018 expected to be better for steel industry: Tata Steel

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Jamshedpur, Jan 1 (PTI): Tata Steel on Monday expressed hope that the new year is expected to be slightly better compared to the last two years as stability has returned to the steel sector globally.

Addressing a gathering on the new year, CEO and managing director of Tata Steel, T V Narendran said 2017 was somewhat better compared to the preceding two years despite challenges.

In 2014, he said, Tata Steel had dealt with some of the challenges relating to closure of its mines because of change in regulations, while in 2015 China had increased its export volumes globally, including India, which created a challenging atmosphere.

However, Tata Steel continued to perform and grew during this period despite the odds, he said.

“Despite these challenges in the last two years, Tata Steel has continued to invest and has grown not only in the works but also in the township of Jamshedpur to improve facilities during this period,” Narendran said.

Recently, he said, the Tata Group chairman and Board members had visited Jamshedpur and they were “quite happy” with what they saw.

Emphasizing on the need for competitiveness, he said that going forward, the competitiveness of Jamshedpur plant will get challenged after 2030, when the mines it has at its disposal today would be put up for auction.

Later, talking to reporters, Narendran said there is a stability in the steel sector globally and import of steel from China has come down to five million tonnes from 10 million tonnes because of anti-dumping duty and other temporary measures taken by the government.

Referring to the Kalinganagar project in Odisha, Narendran said the board has given green signal to start second phase of work there, which has achieved 100 per cent production level within a year of commission.

Describing the government’s action as positive in view of demand, he said the consumption of steel would increase with infrastructure development in the country and also the logistics cost, which was currently on the higher side compared to other countries, would come down with improvement in infrastructure.

On completion of three years by the Raghubar Das-led government in Jharkhand, Narendran said the government was successful in creating a name for the mineral-rich state during the period.

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