By Neha Arora
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's JSW Steel Ltd expects its exports to pick up in the current quarter through March, boosted by the withdrawal of an export tax and robust demand from the Middle East and Asia, a senior company executive said on Saturday.
His comments come after JSW, India's largest steelmaker by capacity, on Friday reported an 89% fall in profits for the quarter ended Dec. 31, hurt by a 56% slump in exports from a year earlier to 1.14 million tonnes.
"Exports will definitely improve in Q4," Seshagiri RaoM.V.S., joint managing director and group chief financialofficer, told Reuters in an interview, adding that for 2022/23,shipments were expected to be more than 10% of total sales.
JSW Steel expects to sell 22.6 million tonnes of steel inthe 2022/23 fiscal year, Rao said, while production is seen at 23.6 million tonnes.
Rao said steel demand from Europe was weak but localproduction cuts were "very severe", helping the company to boost exports.
India's exports of finished steel more than halvedduring the first nine months of the fiscal year that began inApril 2022, hit by the government's decision to levy an exporttax in May on some steel intermediates. T
he tax was lifted in November but mills havecomplained about a loss of share in traditional markets, including Europe.
Rao also said there were concerns about the potentialdumping of steel from China and Russia into the country.
"The global economy is not doing well ... Everybody is looking for markets where they can sell. India is definitely a bright spot," he said.
Rao said the company was not looking to raise funds throughsustainability-linked bonds overseas at present despiteambitious commitments to reduce carbon emissions.
"Currently, we are not looking at raising from internationalmarkets because of unfavourable financial conditions."
In 2021, JSW Steel raised $500 million from sustainability-linked bonds, which are linked to the issuer meeting certain environmental, social and governance goals.
(Reporting by Neha Arora; Editing by Mayank Bhardwaj and David Holmes)