Subdued Demand Hits SAIL, Sales Down 2.3% in FY15: Report

Subdued Demand Hits SAIL, Sales Down 2.3% in FY15: Report
New Delhi: Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) sales took a hit of 2.3 per cent at 11.8 million tonnes (MT) in the fiscal year ended March, 2015, due to subdued demand during the July-December.

However, the steel major achieved 1.24 MT of saleable steel sales in March 2015, which was higher compared to the year-ago period, indicating an uptick in the demand, an official source said.

"The Maharatna status firm also completed projects worth Rs 10,000 crore - the highest in any financial year," the source added.

SAIL achieved a production of 13.5 MT of saleable steel in fiscal year 2014-15, which is higher by 3 per cent over 2013-14, the source added.

"In 2014-15, sales of 11.8 MT have been lower by 2.3 per cent than 2013-14, which was impacted on account of subdued market conditions, especially in the second half (July-December) of 2014," the source said.

The global steel industry is going through difficult times, and likewise the domestic steel sector has also been subdued. Due to excess production and decline in demand in China, steel from that country has been finding its way to other countries, including India.

India's steel imports jumped by over 67 per cent during April-February of 2014-15 to 8.39 MT, while the exports declined 11 per cent to 4.8 MT.

Production of hot metal grew 7 per cent to 15.4 MT in 2014-15, while crude steel output rose 2 per cent to 13.9 MT during the same period.

Besides, iron ore production of 23.1 MT was achieved from the captive mines to meet the demand for SAIL plants, the source added.

"SAIL also achieved the highest ever crude steel output of 10.28 MT in 2014-15 through energy efficient concast route. This was higher by 5 per cent than the production in 2013-14 fiscal," he said.

The state-run steel maker had reported an 8.6 per cent rise in net profit for October-December quarter at Rs 579 crore from Rs 533 crore in the year-ago period on the back of improved efficiencies and lower input costs.

Turnover of the company, however, was lower by 3 per cent for the quarter at Rs 12,291 crore impacted by higher imports and nearly flat steel consumption in the country.

The company is yet to announce its financial results for the last quarter of 2014-15.