Tata Steel, which so far has had no difficulty in selling whatever it had been producing, says it is “positive” on the steel industry for the fourth quarter of the current fiscal and that while the steel market in the country had been picking up in terms of prices, it was the retail market that was doing “fine” of all market segments the steel major caters to.
At a New Year ceremony on Wednesday, Tata Steel managing director TV Narendran said, “We had some challenges, we had the incident (of the gas holder unit attached to the company’s LD-2 basic oxygen furnace blowing up on November 14); otherwise we continue to sell what we produce; we believe the markets are picking up a little bit in terms of prices.”
Narendran said that the deficit in production, caused by the partial three to four days’ production loss incurred due to the November 14 blast, would be made up in the fourth quarter. He added that the company had in recent months already resorted to hiking steel prices as per market conditions.
Talking about retail sales, the MD said, “We sell a lot into the retail market and that’s doing fine; for the long products retail continues to be a very important segment for us.”
Asked if it was going to raise prices from January 1, Narendran said, “International prices have gone up a little bit. China has increased prices by $10 in the last one week and the rupee is where it is. India is not importing much steel and exports are going up because of the rupee (being firm); so from different points of view things are looking up.”
Narendran said the company was “positive” about Q4 as normally the January-June period of the year is seen as the “best time of the year” as construction and other seasonal activities get started during this period.
The managing director said the company’s first phase 3 mtpa greenfield Kalinganagar project in Orissa was progressing as per schedule and was expected to go on stream by the “end of 2014-15”.