India's April-December finished steel exports drop 54% y/y -data

A worker observes an electric furnace inside a steel factory on the outskirts of Jammu

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's exports of finished steel more than halved during the first nine months of the fiscal year that began in April 2022, according to the latest government data seen by Reuters.

The exports fell 54.1% to 4.74 million tonnes between April and December, as consumption dropped in major global markets, and mills struggled to revive shipments after the recent withdrawal of an export tax.

However, the world's second biggest producer of crude steel was a net exporter of the alloy during the April-Dec. period.

In May, New Delhi raised export tax by 15% on eight steel intermediates, hitting major steelmakers, who had hoped to boost global market share after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but the higher duties made shipments unattractive.

The duties were scrapped in November, but mills have since complained about difficulties in recovering share in traditional markets, including Europe.

India's finished steel output increased 5.7% to 87.9 million tonnes and consumption went up by 11.5% to 85.5 million tonnes between April and December.

India imported 4.4 million tonnes of finished steel during the period, up 27.4% from a year earlier. Crude steel production was up 5%, at 92.5 million tonnes.

(Reporting by Neha Arora; Editing by Mayank Bhardwaj and Clarence Fernandez)