Since the disintegration of Soviet Union in 1991, China, Japan and the US have remained the largest steel producers of the world. However, in 1996, China replaced Japan and became the largest producer. Since then, Japan has remained the second largest steel maker with an output of 105 million tonnes in 2016.
Over the years with a production of 98 million tonnes of steel, eventually India witnessed a phenomenal rise in the steel production. In 2015, India overtook the US to become the third largest global steel producer. Indian crude steel production has registered a growth of 6% unlike Japan, where the production remained flat.
If the rate of growth continues, Indian steel production is expected to cross the 101.5 million tonnes mark this year whereas Japan would be 104 million tonnes. Whilst, taking forth the success baton, India is most likely to replace Japan and become the largest steel producer.
India has been exporting and importing similar quantities of steel but this has diverged considerably. Where imports have declined by 13% exports have increased by 67%.
The huge rise shows record total figures but globally India is still a relatively modest exporter, shipping less than half of Japan.
There has also been growth in shipments to Europe with a four-fold increase in exports to Italy and a doubling of shipments to Belgium at 593 thousand tonnes and 215 thousand tonnes respectively.
Most of India’s steel production has always been consumed internally but the massive growth in exports suggests that the times are changing. Going by the records of exports this year, the Indian steel makers are already making a significant impact on the global steel market.