Indian private-sector producer Tata Steel expects a better year for steel demand on the back of infrastructure and automobile sector growth but said there is "some fragility" in the international markets.
The steelmaker said there is a lot of acceleration in the infrastructure sector as there is a push to complete projects and its customers in construction companies have full orderbooks. Commercial spaces and demand for commercial and passenger vehicles are also strong. But the residential market is still a mixed bag, while sectors that are dependent on export markets are a little fragile.
"We feel that this year should end up better than last year for us because overall, we don't see the volatility that we saw last year when coal prices went to $650/t and then dropped and steel prices went to $800-900/t and then dropped. It's a little bit more within the normal band of $500/t to $700/t that is fluctuating," Tata Steel chief executive and managing director TV Narendran said.
Tata's net sales realisations improved by 1,700 rupees/t during January to March and it expects steel prices to rise by about Rs1,000-1,200/t this quarter compared with the first quarter.
Tata said it undertook planned shutdowns in multiple sites for a few days in India during April-June, which will bring down volumes by 400,000t from January-March.
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