Indian steel makers rush to fill supply gap by Russia-Ukraine war
Steel mills in India are stepping in to fill a supply gap created by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as consumers from Europe to Africa turn to the world’s second-largest producer, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has jeopardized steel supplies from both the major producing nations.
It has also pushed companies from Europe, the Middle East and Africa to reach out to Indian producers even as steel prices have jumped 20% in the last one month, according to Jindal Steel & Power (JSPL).
“There is a shortage of steel in Europe and the Middle East and Africa region and that supply will be bridged partly by India and partly by China,” V.R. Sharma, managing director of the Indian steelmaker said in an interview to Bloomberg. “We are seeing good orders from these places in the last week or so, with some buyers asking for immediate delivery for shipment in March and April.’’
Almost a third of India’s steel and iron ore exports were headed for Europe last year, trade data showed. India exported 20.63 million tonnes in 2021, according to Indian research and analysis firm Steelmint, mainly to Italy, Belgium, Nepal and Vietnam.
Industry experts expect Indian and Chinese steel mills to ramp up shipments to Europe to make up for supply shortages from Russia and Ukraine.
Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) expects demand created by cuts to supply from Russia and Ukraine to boost its exports to up to 40% of sales from 25% currently as it looks to take advantage of record high steel prices.
“We used to export about 25%, in 2-3 months time we will be exporting about 35-40% so that we can take a share of higher prices,” JSPL managing director V R Sharma told Reuters. The company is already booked till April 30 and will be booking orders for the next one month till the 30th of May, he added.