In 2016, the Indian government laid out a series of initiatives to reduce the level of imported steel and increase exports and if the results of January are anything to go by, the scheme is working.
In January, the country became a net exporter of steel for the first time in five years barring 2013-14. In January exports were 0.9 MT vis-à-vis imports of 0.6 MT, Joint Plant Committee (JPC) data showed. However, for the April-January period of the current fiscal, India’s status as a net importer of steel did not change. During the 10-month period, India imported 6.1 MT steel against the total exports of 5.87 MT.
The April to January period was highly unpredictable, exports did actually increased by a staggering 71.1%, however, imports fell by a harming 37.8%. If the current trend persists in February and March, India may well become a net importer in the current fiscal itself.
In the last two years, the gap between imports and exports was actually increasing, so if the country can find a way of becoming a net exporter this year then that would be a remarkable achievement.