JSW Steel delivered a mixed set of earnings on Wednesday. The sales volume came below estimate but the EBITDA per tonne beat the expectations.
Talking about the Q3 performance, Seshagiri Rao, joint MD and group CFO of JSW Steel, said that the company witnessed a strong growth in demand for steel in India.
“Domestic consumption growth is over 8 percent. If I see the January number, it is over 9 percent ... in addition to that, if I look at the calendar year 2018 numbers released by World Steel Association (WSA), it is talking about India as the third largest consumer of steel in the world and also it is the fastest growing consumer in the world. So this indicates that there is a strong demand for steel in India. Except in some sentimental change, which has happened starting from November because of the global situation, there is a lot of destocking, which has happened in the last two to two and a half months. That is the reason why there appears to be a weak demand but inherently it is not so,” said Rao, adding "to some extent, we have kept the prices of the steel at the same level as that of last quarter."
“What is comforting to us is in the month of February, we have seen an uptick in prices globally, $40 per tonne. So we have also increased the prices on February 1 in the domestic market. So whatever reduction in prices that have happened in November, December and January, to some extent, the prices will go up in my view considering the global situation currently where iron ore, coking coal, scrap and all the input prices are going up and steel prices, in line with that, have increased by $40 per tonne,” he added.