FACTBOX - Key facts about India's steel industry
Reuters - Steel demand in India rose more than 8 percent in 2009, buoyed by the government's focus on infrastructure and revival in the automobile and consumer goods sectors of Asia's third-largest economy.
With strong growth predicted for the auto and housing sectors in 2010, steel demand is set to grow in double digits.
Global steel production, however, fell 8 percent last year as demand from key industries shrank amid the economic downturn.
Following are some key facts about India's steel industry, which is witnessing growth rates second only to China.
* India's iron and steel industry contributes about 2 percent of gross domestic product, or about $20 billion to the country's $1 trillion economy.
* India is now the fifth-largest producer of steel in the world, behind China, Japan, Russia and the United States.
It produced 55.1 million tonnes of the alloy in 2009, but is still only a tenth the size of China, the No.1 steel producing country.
* State-run Steel Authority of India is the largest producer, with capacity of 13.8 million tonnes. Tata Steel, the world's No. 8 steelmaker, has capacity in India of 7 million tonnes, while JSW Steel is third with annual capacity of about 6.9 million tonnes.
About half of India's steel industry comprises a large number of makers of higher-end re-rolled steel with less than one million tonnes of capacity each.
* India's steel producing capacity is likely to touch 120.62 million tonnes by 2011/12, according to the federal steel ministry. Based on planned projects, capacity could go up to 293 million tonnes by 2020.
Regional governments have signed 222 memorandums of understanding for planned capacity of 276 million tonnes.
* India has immense scope for increasing consumption of steel. Current per capita consumption is around 40 kg, compared with 100 kg in Brazil, 250 kg in China and a global average of 198 kg. Steel demand is expected to rise 5-6 percent annually until 2019-20.
* India's growing status as a global small-car hub is drawing global steel makers, especially Japanese firms, to the country. World No. 2 steelmaker Nippon Steel is in talks with Tata Steel for an automotive steel joint venture, JFE Steel has tied-up with India's JSW Steel, while Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd is considering a JV with Bhushan Steel.
* Indian steel companies have been among the best performing stocks in 2009, widely outperforming the benchmark stock index.
Shares of Tata Steel, SAIL and JSW Steel rose between 2-4 times during the year, compared with the 81 percent rise in the main BSE index.
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