After inching up to become the third largest steel producing country in the world in the first half of 2009, India slipped back to the fifth spot last year as Russia and United States saw a revival in demand in their domestic markets.
India, however, was the only country after China that has managed to grow its steel capacity during the year in the list of top 10 steel producing countries.
India produced 56.6 million tonnes of steel, up 2.7 per cent over 2008. Only four countries — China, India, France and Saudi Arabia — produced more steel in 2009 than in 2008.
“Globally, it is only China and India that have weathered the storm of global downturn the best,” said SK Roongta,
chairman, Steel Authority of India Ltd. “India’s production last year grew 3 per cent while consumption grew 8 per cent.”
Total steel production in the world declined by 8 per cent in 2009 at 1,219.7 million tonnes against 1,326.5 MT in 2008.
This is the second straight year when production has fallen. In 2008, it had gone down by 1.43 per cent over 2007.
The fall would have been much higher but for China, which grew by 13.5 per cent to 567.8 MT, to consolidate its position as the largest steel producer and consumer in the world.