Ministry of steel on Thursday said it expects domestic demand for steel is very strong and is expected to be higher than what is projected by the World Steel Association (WSA).
"Currently, domestic production is in line with the demand and the industry may meet the demand. Infrastructure, housing and related activity would be key drivers for the increase in demand," said Binoy Kumar, secretary, ministry of steel.
According to WSA, steel demand in India is likely to increase and in both 2019 and 2020 on sustained infra spends with the economy expected to achieve faster growth in the second half of 2019 post general elections.
The usage of finished steel products in India is pegged at 102.8 million tonnes in 2019, rising to 110.2 million tonnes (mt) in 2020, WSA said.
With regards to imports, Kumar said it had gone up in certain areas because of higher demand in the sectors such as auto, electrical and other specialised segments. “There is a feeling that there could be some more increase in imports going forward, which could be a matter of concern for the industry,” he added.
Kumar said the steel import has hit as various countries have imposed duties.
"The EU, the US, Canada and Turkey have imposed safeguard duties and so our earlier market to these countries have reduced. Unless we come out with something innovative, this could be the trend going forward," he said.