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As India’s crude steel production grew by 7.4 per cent in 2016, Rimjhim Ispat MD Yogesh Agarwal is assured that India might topple Japan as the second-largest steel producing country in the world by 2020.

While China remains by far the largest steel producer in the world at 808.4 million tons, up by 1.2 per cent over 2015, Japan registered a 0.3 per cent decline at 104.8 million tons. India’s steel production during 2016 stood at 95.6 million tons per annum.

According to Rimjhim Ispat Ltd, global crude steel production reached 1,628.5 million tons in 2016, marginally up by 0.8 per cent compared to 2015. Although the production decreased in Europe, the Americas, and Africa, it was more than the offset by increases in the CIS, the Middle East, Asia, and Oceania.

India has retained its position as the fastest growing steel economy during the year, while countries like Japan, United States, Russia, Brazil, Germany, and South Korea etc have registered declines during the year. Besides India and China, Turkey and Ukraine were the only countries to register a growth in the list of top 10 steel producing countries.

“India has provided the only silver lining during the last few years. While other markets have either stagnated or declined, consumption of steel in India has grown continuously at a steady pace and will continue to do so,” said the Rimjhim Ispat Ltd MD.

He added further, “The government has come up with a new National Steel Policy 2017 that envisages increasing the capacity in the country more than 2 fold from 122 million tons per annum to 300 million tons per annum by 2030. It would require an investment of close to Rs 10 lakh crore.”

His statement came in the wake of the announcement made by Steel Minister Birender Singh, who said, “We have started taking steps to boost the country’s steel production. Rs 62,000 crore will be spent to enhance the production capacity of steel manufacturing plants. India is at present the third largest steel producer in the world. We are taking steps so that it can grab the second spot in the next two-three years.”
“India is a potential ‘sleeper’ that will add to demand growth as steel use rises, the biggest growth factor being the recent boost in the infrastructural development of the country. India is amidst of a wave of urbanization. Studies reveal that this is set to boost demand for everything – from copper to iron ore to steel, as the economy expands over the next two decades.” said Mr Yogesh Agarwal.