Vietnam led the export destination list

Vietnam led the export destination list with 2.214 million mt, or about 28% of overall exports of finished steel, more than 3.5 times the 0.622 million mt recorded the year before. Of the 2.214 million mt in exported steel, 2.19 million mt comprised of hot-rolled coil.

“Steel exports to Vietnam and Taiwan witnessed an increase during April- February 2020, whereas, it declined in case of Belgium, Spain and Malaysia,” the Indian Ministry of Steel said.

Exports to Vietnam are expected to continue into the first quarter of the next Indian financial year as Vietnamese steel giant Hoa Phat has indefinitely delayed a startup of its new HRC mill at its Dung Quat plant in Quan Ngai province due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was slated to start up April 1.

Hoa Phat said Danieli Group of Italy, which supplied the HRC mill, could not send its engineers to ensure a smooth startup due to a travel ban that resulted from the pandemic.

The new mill is expected to produce 3.5 million mt/year of HRC with strip thicknesses ranging from 1.5 mm to 12.0 mm and widths from 900 mm to 1,500 mm.

Likewise, the import data showed flat steel products made up 89% of overall shipments, but was down 7.8% on the year.

On the production side, India’s output of finished steel over April 2019-February 2020 totaled 94.29 million mt, about 2.5% higher on the year, while crude steel production rose 0.2% on the year to 101.11 million mt.

— Clement Choo