Indian steel – A growth story: Sushim Banerjee, INSDAG

Indian steel market is poised to grow at a rate much exceeding the global growth. The World Steel Association has assessed that current steel consumption in India at 81.5 MT is likely to grow at 5.4 per cent in 2016 and would maintain the growth at 5.7 per cent in next year. This is against […]

Sustainable steel making for “Make In India” – ND Rao, PMAI

India blessed with around 30 billion tons of Iron Ore Resource base (as on 2015), 20% High Grade, 30% Medium Grade & balance 50% Low Grade ore. All medium & low grade ores require to be processed through washing & beneficiation plants to enrich ore quality for use in Steel making. Iron ore beneficiation & […]

Newsletter 26 Sep 2016





Sustainable steel making for “Make In India” & achieving Paris climate deal targets: ND Rao, PMAI

India blessed with around 30 billion tons of Iron Ore Resource base (as on 2015), 20% High Grade, 30% Medium Grade & balance 50% Low Grade ore. All medium & low grade ores require to be processed through washing & beneficiation plants to enrich ore quality for use in Steel making.

Iron ore beneficiation & pelletisation plants with total capacity around 116 MTPA & 85 MTPA respectively have come up in the country to use these low grade iron ore fines.

It is expected the steel consumption will increase to around 150 kg/person/yr from existing level of 60 by 2030, which amounts around 200 million tons steel production. It is estimated by 2060, India will be a develop country with a population of 1600 million & highest in the world.

Considering present 100 million Tons Steel production & 85 million Tons of Pellet production per year, following CO2 emissions can be reduced per year for sustainable steel making.

Mining – As per FIMI, around 100 million tons of iron ore fines stocks are available in our country. Existing Iron ore Beneficiation units shall use these fines’ dumps, which in turn reduce further mining & reduction in CO2 emission by 0.09 Mil. Tons (0.9 KgCO2/t X 100 Mil. Tons)

Pipeline – Around 24 MTPA Iron ore slurry is being transported through underground pipeline from various Beneficiation Plants to respective Pellet Plants. It reduces CO2 emission by 0.8112 Mil. Tons (33.8) Kg CO2/t X 24mil. Tons) per annum comparing to road transport

Agglomeration – 85 MTPA Iron ore pellet production will reduce CO2 emission by 19.55 Mil. Tons ((230) Kg CO2/t X 85 Mil. Tons) per annum comparing to sintering process.

Iron & Steel Making – By use of 85 MTPA Iron ore pellets for iron & steel making will reduce CO2 emission by 26.7 Mil. Tonnes ((1255-941) Kg CO2/t X 85 Mil. Tonnes) per annum comparing to the use of sinters.

In total; around 47.15 Million Tons of CO2 emission per year can be reduced by changing to sustainable technology in Steel making value chain.

In order to ratify Paris climate deal, Steel makers have to reduce carbon foot print to achieve the below target set in Paris Climate deal






* 34,278 Mw TO BE CLOSED.


Exclusive TOP
Vedanta upbeat on success of Goa iron ore ops; says worst over

Mining giant Vedanta feels that the worst phase for the iron ore industry is over and exuded confidence that its Goa arm is prepared to sustain the export momentum amidst softening global prices and subdued demand.

Mining giant Vedanta feels that the worst phase for the iron ore industry is over and exuded confidence that its Goa arm is prepared to sustain the export momentum amidst softening global prices and subdued demand.

Goa produces low grade iron ore (Fe content below 58 per cent), which is exported to China. After removal of the mining ban by the Supreme Court in 2014, the state is allowed to mine 20 million tonnes (MT), with the highest share of 5.5 MT going to the firm led by billionaire Anil Agrawal.

“Goa iron ore industry went through a lot, but the worst is over. Globally, prices are soft and demand is subdued, but we will find traction. We have competed in similar environments earlier and will do it again. The future of mining is intact,” CEO of Vedanta’s Iron Ore business, Kishore Kumar told PTI.

Since the resumption of mining operations in Goa, the state has exported about 5 MT of the ore, which includes both the old as well as the freshly mined stock, he added.

“Of the total cap for Vedanta, we have exported 2.2 MT and will export the rest in this fiscal. What we are looking at is relaxation in production cap so that economies of scale can be achieved, which will make us more competitive,” he said.

Vedanta mines iron ore in Goa from the Codli and Sonshi mines. It also has a met coke and pig iron plant, besides a captive power plant in the state.

The firm maintained a monthly production run rate of 8 lakh tonnes in the April-June quarter this fiscal. During the quarter, Vedanta produced 2.4 MT of the ore and exported 2.1 MT. This is against a production of 1.9 MT and sales of 1.6 MT in the January-March quarter of 2015-16.

On higher production cap, he said: “See, it is going to be a tough ride in such challenging conditions, but higher production we give us economies of scale, which will help us to be more competitive. The Expert Committee appointed by the Supreme Court has also recommended raising the cap to 37 MT.”

The Goa government is also supportive and is creating a mining corridor for better transportation of iron ore from the mines to the jetties and the plants, which will also help in optimising logistic costs. It will cost around Rs 125 crore, he added.

Vedanta is also pursuing other alternatives to get a relaxation on the cap on iron ore mining.

In an analyst call in July, Vedanta Ltd had said that the Supreme Court is hearing the case to enhance the overall cap, both for Karnataka and Goa, and the firm expects a decision by the end of July-September quarter.

During the call, Kumar told analysts that of the total 20 MT, state government (Goa) is able to execute about 16-17 MT of capacity on the ground, leaving about 3-4 MT unallocated.

“We have been discussing the matter with state government that should our production get over by end October-November of the third quarter, would they be in a position to give us additional allocation,” he had said.

Source PTI TOP
Iron Ore Prices Rebound After Hitting Two-Month Low

Iron ore prices rebounded at the end of the week, clawing above $56 per ton after slipping to $55 recently, a two month low. Initiating the rebound in iron ore was the US Federal Reserve’s decision to leave interest rates unchanged at their September meeting.

The Fed’s decision to maintain interest rates, even though expected, sent the US dollar higher and that pressured commodities, such as iron ore, that are priced in US dollars. Prior to the Fed’s decision to maintain rates, the US dollar was gaining momentum against rival currencies.

Iron ore has recently gone through a sell-off, falling since peaking at $61 as expectations for new iron ore supplies to come online soon and a fourth quarter slowdown in Chinese building activity caused traders to liquidate some of their positions. The price correction had been anticipated for months, but it did take longer than expected to transpire.

Meanwhile, adding extra support to iron ore could be a strike at a Chinese-owned iron ore mine in Peru, which is proving harder than expected to resolve. While the strike started almost two-weeks ago, miners and the company are having difficulty reaching an agreement. Workers are demanding an 8-sol ($2.38) hike to the daily wage, but management has only offered an increase of 1 sol, indicating that the two sides are far apart at reaching an agreement.

As a result of the strike, production and shipments of iron ore at Shougang Hierro Peru SD, a unit of China’s Beijing Shougang Co, have completely halted. The mine has declared force majeure to allow it to miss deliveries. Last year, the mine produced 7.3 million tons of iron ore.

Source – Economic Calendar TOP
Mines ministry unlikely to lift export duty on high grade iron ore

The central mines ministry is unlikely to entertain proposals from iron ore rich states of Odisha and Jharkhand to waive off the prevailing 30 per cent export duty on high grade ore. Both the states along with top mining body Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (Fimi) have been lobbying for removal of the duty that is deterring exports.

The stockpile of iron ore at pitheads in Odisha, Jharkhand and Goa has been escalating. According to data by Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM), the inventory (at the end of March 2016) has gone up to 186 million tonne (mt) and of this, fines alone account for around 150 mt. With not much of domestic demand to absorb the glut, export of the iron ore was the only viable outlet provided the steep export tax was scrapped.

“We have been appealing to the mines ministry to exempt high grade iron ore from exports. But, the steel ministry is opposed to the idea. Steel industries and pellet manufacturers are also not okay with the proposal to lift export duty”, said R K Sharma, secretary general, Fimi.

A section of the steel industry and pellet manufacturers feel incentivising exports by withdrawing export tax will trigger hike in domestic prices of iron ore. More recently, Odisha miners have hiked prices of iron ore prices by up to Rs 200 per tonne despite softening prices in the international market.

The central government in 2016-17 Budget announced the waiver of export duty on low grade iron ore lumps and fines (with iron content of less than 58 per cent). Since then, exports have gained some momentum but the big gainer is Goa which predominantly produces low grade ore unsuitable for value addition.

Since 2009-10, iron ore exports from the country have been drastically falling as the government looks to protect the local steel industry. From the peak level of 117.4 mt, exports have dwindled to 6.12 mt in 2014-15 and a little over five mt in last fiscal.

Source – Business Standard TOP
Pvt power producers struggle to meet emission deadline

The Union environment ministry’s move to cut down on thermal power emissions to meet global standards is now facing multiple uncertainties over its implementation. Private thermal power producers are struggling to meet the new deadline, as regulatory approvals for the project cost and equipment sourcing remain a challenge.

In December 2015, the environment ministry issued revised guidelines for existing and new coal-based thermal power plants in the country for sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions. The tighter norms require thermal-power plants to refit certain equipment. However, companies and analysts say the process is proving to be challenging. Coal-fired plants are required to meet these guidelines by December 2017.

Private companies so far have not started the refitting process. “We are still discussing the practicality of it, and if there is a technical solution possible,” said Sanjay Sagar, chief executive officer and joint managing director, JSW Energy Ltd. JSW Energy operates 3,140 megawatt (Mw)of thermal power capacity in the country.

JSW Energy is not an exception. Private power producers have hit a regulatory hurdle over the revised cost of the project and subsequent increase in tariff. The estimated cost for the required refitting is in the range of Rs 80 lakh to Rs 1.25 crore for each Mw of power.

“Refitting cannot be started, there is a preparation time. All the private companies have started the process (preparation process); five of them have filed the petitions for tariffs, too. The government is yet to give any guidance for the approval of cost to the regulatory commissions,” said Ashok Khurana, director general, the association of power producers. Khurana added banks might not be willing to lend unless there is clarity on the revised tariffs. “There is no clarity on whether power purchase agreements can allow for the revision in tariff for these capital costs,” he added.

In addition to regulatory hurdles, companies and analysts add, the proposal also faces other challenges in terms of unavailability of required equipment and grid disturbance.

“It is impossible to meet the deadline, but the government is still in discussions with the companies. If implemented, it will be a big financial hit for the companies. Vendors for certain equipment are not available in India, the government will need to amend or ease the norms,” said an analyst with a domestic brokerage firm.

Sagar from JSW Energy agrees there is a lack of suppliers and the deadline may need to be revised. As of August 2016, India’s coal-based thermal power installed capacity stood at 186 gigawatt (Gw). One Gw is equal to 1,000 Mw of power. India’s total installed power capacity is 305 Gw.

In addition to the lack of enough vendor companies, refitting also threatens disturbing the grid if a pre-decided schedule is not followed. “If 10-15 plants start doing it together, that much load will together go away from the grid. One has to do it in a more phased manner.”

A lot of thought process needs to go in,” Sagar said. The power grid in the country operates on a pre-decided schedule of balanced demand and supply of power. Any significant anomaly in the supply or demand can impact the grid adversely.


* In Dec 2015, the environment ministry issued revised guidelines for existing and new coal-based thermal power plants for sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions

* The tighter norms require thermal-power plants to refit certain equipment

* Coal-fired plants are required to meet these guidelines by December 2017

* The estimated cost for the required refitting is in the range of Rs 80 lakh to Rs 1.25 crore for each Mw of power

Source – Business Standard TOP
Government forms panel for policy on coal reject disposal

Government has constituted a panel to frame a “tentative policy” for disposal of low-grade coal rejects from washeries at thermal power plants.

The five-member panel has been asked to submit the same in 15 days, an official said.

Coal quality is enhanced by washing and the plant where such activity is carried out is called coal washery.

The panel will “prepare a tentative policy for disposal of washery rejects keeping a harmonious balance between the (draft) policy formulated by the coal ministry and comments or suggestions furnished by the stakeholders,” the official said.

The terms of reference of the panel also include listing out amendments in the draft policy as formulated by the coal ministry vis-a-vis comments from stakeholders and listing out the reasons for acceptance or rejection of the said comments or suggestions, if any.

CMD of Coal India’s consultancy arm CMPDIL is the chief coordinator of the committee. Other members of the panel include Coal India director (marketing) and coal controller.

Source PTI TOP
State govt. to undertake coal mining

Considering the growing requirement of coal for thermal power stations, the State government is planning to undertake coal mining in Maharashtra.

G. Kumar Naik, managing director, Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd. (KPCL), told presspersons here on Saturday that four coal blocks at Barang in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra had been allocated to KPCL by the Union government.

“Coal mining by a State-owned undertaking is on the cards. We will discuss the matter with the Chief Minister and take a final call… Deocha-Pachami is the largest coal mine in the country. As it is far away from Karnataka, we had requested the Union government to allot an alternative mine,” he said.

Responding to a query, Mr. Naik said that six State-owned power supply companies and Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd. owe around Rs. 14,000 crore to KPCL. “The government will take a decision on the matter. Despite financial constraints, KPCL has not stepped back from its corporate social responsibility initiatives,” he said.

To a question, Mr. Naik said that the thermal power stations in the State were effectively handling fly ash as per the guidelines by the Union Ministry for Environment and Forests.

“Around 80 per cent of the fly ash being generated by our thermal power stations is being used at various industries,” he said.

Mr. Naik said that commercial power generation at one of the two units of Yermarus Thermal Power Station (YTPS), with an installed capacity of 800 MW, would start by the first week of October.

“Unit-1 at YTPS is ready for commercial power generation. We can, however, announce its commercial generation only when it generates 800 MW of power for 72 hours without any interruption. I hope that we will announce it in the first week of next month,” he said.

The commercial generation from unit-2, which has the same installed capacity of 800 MW, is expected to begin in the first week of November, he added.

Source – The Hindu TOP
European coal futures touch highest level since mid-August

European coal futures hit their highest level since the middle of August on Thursday due to a softer dollar and in line with price rises in other European energy markets, while physical prices also rose due to disruptions in Australia. In the futures market, the API2 2017 contract was $0.85 higher at $60.20 a tonne. The contract touched an intra-day high of $60.50 a tonne in earlier trade, its highest level since August 15.

In the physical market, imports into Europe’s terminals at Amsterdam, Rotterdam or Antwerp (ARA) in October were up $0.15 at $64.00 a tonne on the globalCOAL platform, their highest for a year and a half. Coal was higher in line with other energy markets such as gas, power, carbon and oil, traders said. The dollar has also softened against the euro, after the Federal Reserve kept US interest rates unchanged on Wednesday, lessening the currency’s appeal for international investors.

Dollar-denominated commodities including oil and coal tend to rise in price when the dollar weakens. “Coal is also up from expected new measures from China; there is also rain affecting supply especially in Australia which is struggling to transport coal due to rail issues,” one trader added. Australia’s coal production has recently been disrupted due to train derailments and bad weather.

Cargo prices for Australian thermal coal from its Newcastle terminal for December were up $0.70 at $74.50 a tonne on globalCOAL. Prices for South Africa’s Richards Bay coal in November were $1.15 higher at $68.75 a tonne and the December contract was $0.90 higher at $68.10 a tonne. This week, Australian bank Macquarie raised its thermal coal price forecasts by 17-25 percent through to the end of 2018 after China capped domestic mining activity, spurring imports.

In August, China’s coal imports from Australia increased by 35 percent from a year earlier and shipments from Indonesia grew by 55.8 percent, data from China’s General Administration of Customs showed on Thursday. Meanwhile, China has called regulators and company executives from the country’s major coal producing regions to an “urgent” meeting on Friday, the second in as many weeks as Beijing tries to overhaul the industry while maintaining supplies to major consumers.

Source – Business Recorder TOP
Chinese miners to lift thermal coal output

China’s state-owned miners have agreed to increase thermal coal output in an oblique attempt to mitigate a sharp rise in the coking coal price that is punishing the nation’s steel mills.

The price of the coking coal, also known as metallurgical coal, has doubled in the past six weeks, catching the Chinese industry by surprise and offering a rare spot of cheer to producers in Australia and elsewhere.

The rise prompted a protest from the China Iron and Steel Association, which represents large state-owned steel mills.

In an emergency meeting on Friday, the nation’s largest state-owned coal miners agreed to increase output.

That comes after months of production cuts by beleaguered miners as Beijing attempts to rectify extreme overcapacity in the coal industry and permanently shut debt-ridden mines whose deposits have been tapped out.

“We misjudged — we didn’t think the production limits would be so effective,” said Henry Liu, research director at CEBM in Shanghai.

State planner the National Development and Reform Commission has sent inspection teams to assess how much metallurgical coal stocks steel mills are holding and how much they plan to buy.

Coking coal supply to steel mills traditionally tightens in winter when cold weather slows mine operations in northern China and Mongolia.

Increased output of thermal coal does not necessarily resolve the squeeze in coking coal. But it does help keep a lid on coal prices in China, reducing pressure on thermal power generators and preventing the rally in coal prices from feeding through to the power sector.

Coal and steel prices have been on a roller-coaster ride in China this year after well-placed bets in January that inventories had fallen too low sparked a run-up in Chinese future prices.
The steam went out of that rally in April, when prices overshot. The bump provided an unexpected boost to the steel industry, frustrating government efforts to shut down steel mills and reduce overcapacity.

Steel profits stayed healthy until early August, before being eroded by the rising coking coal price.

While the coal industry used to be a “wild west” of extremely market-sensitive private miners, many have folded up shop in the face of discriminatory investment and loan policies, rising debt and weak prices.

That leaves the more obedient state-owned miners which respond more quickly to government efforts to secure energy supply to steel mills and power plants. “It’s a planned economy again,” Mr Liu said.

Source – Financial Times TOP
Surging price of coking coal reflects China’s muscle

The ability of policymakers in Beijing to roil global commodity markets has been underlined by a breathtaking rally in a key steelmaking ingredient that has caught consumers cold, but promises a profit windfall for the struggling mining industry.

The price of premium hard coking coal has more than doubled in the past six weeks to more than $200 a tonne as supplies have dwindled and buyers have scrambled to find cargoes in the spot market.

Behind the surge — or “met coal mania” as it has been dubbed by one bank — are production curbs in China where the government is restricting the number of working days at domestic coal mines to 276 a year, down from 330.

This policy is mainly aimed at improving the profitability of its bloated and heavily indebted coal industry so it can repay loans to domestic banks. But it has also reduced output and tightened the global coking coal market. Its impact has been magnified by a string of disruptions in Australia, a leading supplier to the seaborne or export market.

If the price rise is sustained it could add billions of dollars to the bottom lines of the industry’s biggest producers, which include Anglo American, BHP Billiton, South 32 and Canada’s Teck. Coking coal is an important raw material used in blast furnace steel production.

“It’s been a perfect storm on the supply side,” said Christopher LaFemina, analyst at Jefferies.

Caught between an oversupplied Chinese market and faltering demand for steel, 2016 was supposed to bring more pain for the coking coal industry. But things have not worked out that way.

Instead of adding to last year’s 30 per cent drop, coking coal has staged a dramatic recovery, rising 164 per cent which has made it the best performing commodity of 2016.

“In bulk and base commodities if you get Chinese policy right you are a long way towards getting the market right,” said Colin Hamilton, head of commodities research at Macquarie.

China sprang its first surprise this year when policymakers, alarmed by slowing economic growth and capital flight, injected a huge amount of cash into the banking system. This boosted construction activity and demand for steelmaking materials such as iron ore and coking coal.

The credit surge was followed by the 276-day policy, which first lifted the price of thermal coal, used to generate electricity in power stations.

Source – Financial Times TOP
Indian steel – A growth story: Sushim Banerjee, INSDAG

Indian steel market is poised to grow at a rate much exceeding the global growth. The World Steel Association has assessed that current steel consumption in India at 81.5 MT is likely to grow at 5.4 per cent in 2016 and would maintain the growth at 5.7 per cent in next year. This is against 0.2 per cent growth in the global steel market in the current year. The subdued growth in steel demand in the country at only 1.3 per cent over the previous year observed in the first five months of the current year is explained by declining trend of Gross Capital Formation as a percentage of GDP in the first quarter (29.8 per cent), the negative growth in Industrial Production and Manufacturing at per cent and per cent respectively in the first four months of the current fiscal and a massive low production in steel-intensive capital goods output (negative per cent). These two trends need to be reversed on an urgent basis. Already the Government is taking a few enabling policy measures to relax constraining rules and procedures to improve the business scenario so that doing business in India is improved significantly and India proves itself the most attractive destination in the world. PPP guidelines are being made more investor friendly with the government taking up the major share of the business risk, Uniform Goods and Service Tax is being implemented from April’17 after getting the concurrence of all the states.

A few mega projects like Dedicated Freight Corridors funded by World Bank and Asian Development Bank, Industrial Corridors between Amritsar and Kolkata, Chennai to Bangalore, Delhi to Mumbai are being implemented which would ultimately establish a link between North East Region with other regions of the country. Metro Rails are expanded to other cities like Ahmadabad. Railways have decided to enhance more procurement of wagons and coaches, lay down new lines and convert a large numbers of metre gauge lines to Broad gauge. The 7500km long coastline and 14500km navigable waterways are being planned to be developed as alternative to Rail and road network. A number of minor ports numbering around 200 and a number of minor airports numbering around 35 are being developed to improve the civil aviation and sea movements. All these measures would enhance the steel demand in the country and reduce logistic costs to make Indian steel cost competitive in the world market.

Thanks to a series of timely and effective trade measures adopted by the Government like Minimum Import Prices, Safeguard Duties, Anti Dumping Duties, the abundant flow of cheap steel imports from China, Japan, South Korea and Russia has been restrained. It is likely that India becomes a net exporter of steel in the current year. The rising domestic demand and increasing exports of steel by India would fully match the incremental steel availability from Indian steel plants in the coming year.

Exclusive TOP
Banks may seek more bids for Essar Steel loans

Essar Steel’s lenders may seek more bids from asset reconstruction companies to secure a better price for their exposure to the ailing company.

Banks with loan exposure of over Rs 40,000 crore to Essar Steel have received a proposal from SSG Capital to buy the debt at half the price. SSG Capital has a controlling stake in Delhi-based Asset Care and Reconstruction Enterprise.

An executive with a Mumbai-based public sector bank said Essar Steel was facing tough times but it was still an operating unit with substantial value.

The price offered by one party could become the basis for calling expressions of interest from other bidders, the executive added.

Early this month, the Reserve Bank of India released rules for banks to use the Swiss challenge method to sell dud loans, where a lender that receives an unsolicited bid for an asset invites other parties to match it.

A slew of steps by the government, including a minimum import price, to curb dumping of steel has helped steel companies to improve their financial profile. This is expected to put them in a better position to repay their loans.

Essar Steel had been looking for a buyer since November. However, with China dumping steel in all parts of the world, including India, the company so far has failed to receive a single bid.

Banks may seek more bids for Essar Steel loans In a recent development, Mumbai-based Edelweiss Asset Reconstruction Company bought Rs 1,600 crore of ICICI Bank’s loans to Essar Steel.

Source – Business Standard TOP
Steel output goes up and away

Global steel production rose by 1.9% from a year ago in August, up from the 1.5% growth seen in July, according to the World Steel Association (Worldsteel). China is the main reason why steel output has risen by this much, but global output ex-China too has risen in the past few months. Still, China dominates the steel discussion; in August, for instance, its output rose by 3% versus 0.9% for the rest of the world.

The rise in output may seem problematic, for Worldsteel had predicted in April that the global demand for steel would decline by 0.8% with China’s demand declining by 4%. That appears to have changed, especially as China has taken steps to stimulate economic growth. ArcelorMittal said, in its June quarter results statement, that it expects global steel consumption to grow slightly in 2016, without giving a number. It said Chinese steel demand will benefit from growth in the infrastructure and automotive sectors, although real estate has lost momentum.

Not just China, India too is contributing to global output growth. The ramp-up of new capacity at its major steel plants has seen its crude steel output increase by 9.4% in August. Sadly, its domestic demand is unable to absorb this level of steel output, as demand for finished steel increased by only 1% in August, according to data from the Joint Plant Committee. In the April-August period, it rose by only 1.3%.

Thus, producers have been forced to export finished steel, although domestic sales fetch higher realizations. Exports of finished steel in April-August were up by 23.6%, with August alone seeing an increase of 87.3%. On the positive side, the government’s steps to prevent the dumping of steel have benefited local steel producers on the pricing front.

Globally, as in India, the main worry is when demand will recover to healthier levels to support this increase in output. Else, it will eventually lead to excess steel on the market that will spill into the global market and upset prices. While everyone appears to look to China to rein in its steel output, it has not shown much sign of relenting so far, although it has been promising to do so.

In a move towards consolidation, this week came news that Baoshan Iron and Steel (part of the Baosteel Group) will acquire Wuhan Iron and Steel, combining to create 60 million tonnes of steel capacity, according to Reuters. If this form of consolidation leads to more discipline on the production front, that is good for the world but if it leads to lower costs for the group while output grows unhindered, then it is of little use for the global steel industry.

Source – LiveMint TOP
Karunanidhi opposes decision to divest in Salem steel plant

DMK leader M. Karunanidhi on Saturday opposed the Centre’s decision to disinvest the shares of the Public Sector Units including Salem Steel Plant, alleging that it was part of the BJP-led government’s plan to open the gates for private operators.

“The BJP government’s proposal has lent credence to the idea that is seeking to impose Hindutva as a political ideology and capitalism as an economy,” said Mr. Karunanidhi in a statement.

Recalling the efforts taken during the DMK regime, Mr. Karunanidhi said the ruling AIADMK should act immediately to prevent the Centre from going ahead with its proposal.

He said the Salem Steel Plant was providing direct employment for over 2,500 employees and indirect job opportunities to over 5,000 workers and the privatisation process would affect the livelihood of thousands of workers. “It generated a Rs. 100 crore profit between 2003 and 2010 and its burden increased only after the launch of Rs. 2,000 crore plant. Moreover, shifting its headquarters to Kolkata led to losing many valuable customers,” he said, adding that instead of privatising the plant, the government should leave it to the administration of efficient officials.

The DMK leader said the Centre should also diversify the activities of the steel plant and it should be allowed to produce electricity. “It is capable of producing a unit for Rs. 4 while it will cost Rs. 7 in the private sector. A railway coach factory should also be set up in Salem,” he said.

Source – The Hindu TOP
New Centre steps to boost steel industry

Union steel minister Birender Singh on Friday said a minimum import price (MIP) and anti-dumping duty would be imposed to help the ministry overcome the bad phase it is currently facing. However, Singh said, the ministry should by itself also look for ways to enhance efficiency and reduce production cost to generate demand in the market.

“We have requested railway and national highway authorities to make bridges of steel instead of concrete since they last for at least 150 years. There are about 5 crore houses that needs to be build by 2022 and for this, we have requested to enhance steel utility,” Singh said.

The minister, along with Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) chairman PK Singh, reviewed the production and modernisation project of Bokaro Steel Plant (BSL). “I am asking steel companies to be innovative and suggest quality products at cheaper production cost to compete in the global steel market. The Ministry is also working to boost steel production,” he said.

“There is R&D (research and development) in SAIL but it needs to be strengthened. This ministry will assign targets to R&D at plant level to come up with products at cheaper production,” he added.

The minister also said the government is planning to ban vehicles which are more than 15 years old. The vehicles would be sold in scrap and in turn would be used for making steel. He also announced the installation of steel manufacturing plant of SAIL in collaboration with Mahindra and MSTC which would cater to the auto grade and electrical market.

“The states which don’t have iron ore mines or coal would also install steel plants using scrap as raw materials,” he said.

Source – TOI TOP
U.S. moves toward finalising duties on certain Indian steel pipe

The U.S. Commerce Department on Friday said India was dumping welded stainless pressure pipe in the United States at below market value and unfairly subsidizing the products.

The final determination is a further step toward locking in U.S. duties on the imports, which the department said would range up to 13.3 percent. The pipes are used to transport fluids at high temperatures and pressures, and are used in the petrochemical, oil and gas and other industries.

The duties will become final if the International Trade Commission determines the U.S. industry was being harmed. The department said a final ITC decision was due on Nov. 6.

Bristol Metals, a subsidiary of U.S. steel products maker Synalloy Corp (SYNL.O), Outokumpu Stainless Pipe, a subsidiary of Finnish firm Outokumpu (OUT1V.HE), Felker Brothers Corp and Marcegaglia USA brought the case last year.

In 2015, imports of the products from India were valued at an estimated $33.1 million, the department said.

Source – Reuters TOP
Nagaur limestone block gets record bid

Rajasthan received a record eight times the reserved price for the largest limestone block in the country in the e-auction conducted on Thursday. The block, situated in Jayal tehsil of Nagaur, has 168 million tonne of high-grade limestone resources.

Three major cement companies such as Emami Cements, JSW Cements and Mangalam Cements were in the fray for bidding. The reserve price for the block was approximately Rs 35 per tonne. After a session of aggressive bidding, the block received a final bid of aboput Rs 300 per tonne from Emami Cements which is more than eight times the reserve price. “This is a major success for the department as it will result in revenue of at least Rs 6,000 crore for the state over the life of the mine as well as create hundreds of jobs in the area. Rajasthan is already the leading cement manufacturer in the country with the presence of 23 cement plants and this will further consolidate the state’s position,” secretary (Mines) Aparna Arora said in a release.

As per the two-stage bidding process, the reserve price for initial bids was set at 7% of Rs 500. In the first round, the highest bid came at 16.59% which was set as the floor price for second round that followed the e-auction route. The block witnessed aggressive bidding from the companies and received a final bid at 60.09% (of Rs 500) from Emami Cements, more than 8 times the reserve price of Rs 35beating the previous record of 58.95% achieved in Chhattisgarh.

The block was carefully chosen based on industry requirements and its attractiveness in terms of size, land ownership pattern and economics.

“The government is committed to making Rajasthan the top mining destination in the country and is taking several steps to boost mining in the state. We are investing in world-class exploration capabilities as well as focusing on clearing all pending applications,” the secretary said.

The department is in the process of selecting minerals blocks for the next round of auctions which will be announced soon.

Source – TOI TOP
Silicomanganese prices rally, driving up manganese ore prices in China

Manganese ore prices in China rallied this week, led by a rise in Chinese silicomanganese prices.

The Platts weekly assessment for 44% ores was $4.8/dmtu CIF Tianjin Friday, up from $4.6/dmtu CIF Tianjin last week, while 37% manganese ores moved to their highest since 2015 at $4.3/dmtu, CIF China, up from $3.90/dmtu CIF Tianjin.

Market participants said South32’s Australian 45%-46% ores were offered at $5.2/dmtu, CIF China. While no confirmed trades were heard, several buyers said this was a tradeable price.

South African 37% ores were heard being traded at $4.2-$4.4/dmtu, CIF China. Sources said they heard no offers of Gabon 44% ores in China.

One silicomanganese producer said he heard offers of Australian ores at Tianjin port going for Yuan 60/dmtu, ex-Tianjin port, but was unable to buy. “Traders won’t sell”, he said.

Offers at Tianjin port for Australian ores were heard in a range of Yuan 60-70/dmtu, ex-Tianjin, Gabon ore at Yuan 57/dmtu, ex-Tianjin, and South African 37% at 37-46/dmtu, ex-Tianjin.

Prices for silicomanganese 6517 were said to be rising quickly during the week. Silicomanganese producers said prices had risen to Yuan 6,500-7,100/mt as power costs were heard to be moving up.

One trader outside China said ores were being bought quickly by larger trading houses in China, and sold at higher prices within China. Supply of higher grade ores was also short.

Source – Platts TOP
China’s largest lead and zinc mine discovered in Xinjiang – Xinhua

China’s largest lead and zinc mine has been discovered in the country’s far-western region of Xinjiang, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday.

The mine is located in Hotan county and has almost 19 million tonnes of lead and zinc reserves, Xinhua said, citing a statement from the Xinjiang Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources.

Lead and zinc have been discovered in 27 provinces and regions in China, concentrated in southwestern Yunnan province, northwestern Gansu and Inner Mongolia, Xinhua said.

Lead and zinc are used in electronics, machinery, chemicals, light industry and pharmaceuticals, among other industries, Xinhua added.

Source – Reuters TOP
Zinc futures rise 0.86 pc on positive global cues, spot demand

Zinc prices rose 0.86 per cent to Rs 152.75 per kg in futures trading today in tandem with a firming trend overseas.

Besides, increased demand from consuming industries in spot markets supported the uptrend.

At the Multi Commodity Exchange, zinc for delivery in the current month was trading higher by Rs 1.30, or 0.86 per cent, to Rs 152.75 per kg, in a business turnover of 815 lots.

The metal for delivery in October gained Rs 1.25, or 0.82 per cent, to trade at Rs 153.30 per kg in volume of 49 lots.

Market analysts attributed the rise in zinc futures to fresh positions created by participants on the back of a firm global trend in the base metals pack and rising demand from consuming industries at the domestic spot markets.

Source – Business Standard TOP

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