Seshagiri Rao, Joint MD, JSW Steel, Auto News, ET Auto
Indian steel consumption is rising on a month-on-month basis and steel prices are expected to stabilise, said JSW Steel joint managing director Seshagiri Rao.
Indian benchmark HRC (hot-rolled coil) steel prices touched record high levels of Rs 70,875 in November last. However, due to cost pressure and destocking by the trade market, the prices have been falling globally and in India, steel prices softened to touch around Rs 67,000 a tonne in January. “Whatever price correction that has happened in China and Asia, I don’t expect the same to happen in India. And the prices will definitely not come down to the previous (2019-20) levels,” Rao said.
“Even though the consumption is not as strong as last year, we see that the December consumption levels are around at 9.29 mt, highest since April 2021,” Rao added.
JSW Steel allocated around Rs 18,300 crore of capex for the financial year 2022 and has spent around Rs 10,000 crore in the last nine months.
“… Rs 8,000 crore will not be spent in one single quarter. I’m expecting around Rs 15,000 crore capex in the whole of FY22. For the next financial year the capex will be in the similar range of Rs 15,000-18,000 crore,” Rao said.
Rao expects prices to go up in the coming months and said that there is even scope for a price hike in February. “We are already seeing steel prices going up globally. Primarily it is due to cost-push, and therefore we might see some price hikes in the current quarter,” he said.
Rao said that the demand is strong in India.