Covid-19 impact: Steel firms to focus on exports until demand improves

Jayant Acharya, director (commercial, marketing, corporate strategy) of JSW Steel, said, “We expect domestic demand to restart gradually with segments like packaging, steel products for domestic gas distribution, infrastructure, special steel for automotive, etc.” For the next one to two months, the focus will be on a balance between domestic and exports, he said.
Lockdown measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic had immensely affected steel customers like auto and construction segments that closed down. Being an intermediate product, dependent on derived demand, steel companies resorted to rationalizing production. However, some like JSW Steel are evaluating restarting production in a phased manner.
Acharya said, “In exports, we cover multiple countries and more than 80-85 percent of our exports are to our existing customers where we are able to leverage our brand equity.”
Jindal Steel and Power Managing Director V R Sharma said the company had exported 80 per cent of goods in the month of April 2020.