In global trade, India is known as a top iron importer. With its rich past of robust manufacturing, the country has been able to capitalize on its resources and expertise to become a substantial importer of iron products. India's Iron and Steel industry is among the country's most significant industries. The iron industry is the nodal industry since all the other industries-heavy, medium, and light depend on it for their machinery. In this blog, we will discuss about India's iron import industry in brief and also discuss the key destinations of India.
The iron and steel industry plays an important role in the growth and development of various other industries. It serves as the backbone for infrastructure, construction, automotive, manufacturing, and many more sectors.
Though India is a significant iron and steel-producing country in the world, we are not able to achieve our full potential mainly due to the:
Due to these factors, there are several uncertainties in the Indian economy. To overcome these challenges, India needs to work on their infrastructure, adequate energy supply, labor productivity, etc.
As we know, Iron and its products are the backbone of the modern economy; India has become the largest importer of Iron in the international market. India is rich in iron ore resources; it has an added benefit, allowing it to tap into markets to which China no longer caters.
Based on Iron import data, India's iron imports, finished and semi-finished, have risen by over 45 percent year-on-year to 7 million tonnes (mt), among the highest growths in the last three years.
The increase came from a sharp 500 percent jump in shipments for semi-finished offerings; finished steel imports grew by 30-odd percent, as per iron ore import data.
Over the previous few years since India became a net exporter of Iron, the highest import was in FY20 at 7.20 mt. As per India export import data, it dropped to 5.04 mt in FY21 and 4.80 mt in FY22.
For FY23, semi-finished steel offerings in India stood at 1 mt (against 0.2 mt in FY22), while it was 6 mt (4.7 mt) for finished steel.
India imports Iron and its products for several reasons, including:
Based on iron import data, India imported about 16.7 million tons of Iron in 2022. The top five source countries accounted for about 80% of total imports. The principal imports of Iron and steel by India in 2022 were:
China accounted for 26.1% of India's steel imports in June 2022, while Vietnam's contribution was 1% as per India export import data. However, by June 2023, Vietnam's part of India's steel imports had climbed to 4.8%, while China's import share had reached 37.1%. These improvements are essential because India wants to increase its capacity for producing steel to 300 million tonnes and gain a large percentage of the world's iron and steel markets.
On the other hand, India's export of completed steel fell to 5.02 LMT, a decrease of 27.6% from May 2023 and 21.3% from June 2022, based on Iron Export Data.
According to the Indian export and import data, the UK, Mexico, Russia, Italy, Portugal, and Nepal had a larger share of India's steel exports in June 2023.
Regarding iron ore prices, it was reported that they remained steady from their May 2023 level in June at 3,900/tonne.
The ministry report showed that Russia was among the top five suppliers to India, replacing Taiwan and Indonesia in the finished steel category. Finished steel supplies (in volume terms) increased 470 percent YoY to 0.31 mt.
Korea was the enormous supplier of finished steel at 2.2 mt (up 11 percent YoY), observed by China at 1.4 mt (up 69 percent YoY).
As per Export Import Data, Japan and Vietnam occupied the third and fourth spots with supplies of 0.8 mt (up 27 percent) and 0.32 mt (up 324 percent).
When delving into Iron import data, it's clear that India's products are finding their way to numerous corners of the world. Countries like the United States, China, and Japan are vital destinations for Indian Iron and its products. This global distribution highlights the widespread recognition of India's manufacturing prowess and the quality of its commodities.
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India is a significant player in the global iron industry, with a growing steel production capacity. The country has several advantages in iron production, including abundant iron ore resources.
By addressing challenges and embracing opportunities, India can continue shaping the world's infrastructure while promoting its economic growth. Iron import data provides a comprehensive overview of the Iron import market.
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