The global steel industry faced a lot of challenges last year, both in India and internationally. Koushik Chatterjee, the CFO of Tata Steel, spoke with CNBC-TV18 on the sidelines of the CII CFO Conclave about the current state of the steel market and what one can expect going forward.
One of the biggest factors impacting the steel industry is the opening up of China. “Last year we had a lot of challenges both in India as well as globally. But as we see now, with China opening up, the US doing pretty good, we are in a time where the low of the steel prices may be behind us,” he said.
Chatterjee suggests that this may signal the end of low steel prices. With the country opening up, there may be more balance in the market and less downward pressure on prices.
Another positive sign for the steel industry is the stabilisation of demand in Europe. According to Chatterjee, demand has stabilised more than it was previously, indicating that the worst may be over for the industry.
“It has stabilised much more than what it was. The war in Ukraine had a disruptive impact, there was also an impact on the gas prices and energy prices which are getting stabilised, not to the level at which it was before the war but at least the volatility has smoothened a lot,” he said.
In India, the steel industry is largely dependent on infrastructure spending. Chatterjee believes that if there is a significant increase in infrastructure spending, Indian steel will be absorbed into the country. This would be a positive development for the industry, as it would provide a more stable market for Indian steel producers.
“The Indian steel is largely going to be absorbed in the country if the infrastructure spend is there. There is a certain amount of exports that happen, exports are also healthy and good but the focus is always on domestic consumption,” he mentioned.
Source: CNBC TV 18