Subdued demand for both long and flat products coupled with rising competition have negatively impacted SAIL's sales by nearly three per cent at 76.03 lakh tonnes in the nine-month period ended December, a senior official said.
"Sales are down during the April-December period. We are facing problems for both flat and long products. Competition is there, demand has also come down for certain products like plates," SAIL's Finance Director Anil Chaudhary said.
Long products are mostly used in the construction sector, while flat steels are used in automobile and consumer goods among others.
State-run Steel Authority of India's (SAIL) sales decreased by 2.71 per cent during the period to 76.03 lakh tonnes compared to 78.15 lakh tonnes a year ago.
The sales of the company were also down in December, 2012 as well by 4.47 per cent to 9.41 lakh tonnes.
Meanwhile, during the period, India's steel consumption grew by 3.9 per cent to 548 lakh tonnes, which appear "subdued" in comparison with entire last fiscal's consumption growth of seven per cent.
Chaudhary said production of the company, however, went up by 1.59 per cent during the April-December period as SAIL did not want to produce more "just to pile up the level of inventory."
SAIL produced 92.52 lakh tonnes of saleable steel in the first nine months of the current fiscal compared to 91.07 lakh tonnes in the corresponding period last fiscal.
Another steel-making PSU Rashtriya Ispat Nigam's sales have also declined by over 17 per cent to 17.86 lakh tonnes during the April-December period compared to 21.63 lakh tonnes in the same period last fiscal.