Volatilities ease, semi-finished steel exports set to resume shortly: Atul Bhatt, CMD, RINL
State-owned steelmaker Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) hopes exports of blooms and billets, considered semi-finished steel products, will resume once the current market volatility subsides, its chairman and managing director Atul said. Bhatt. .
The country’s second-largest steelmaking PSU recorded revenue of ₹28,082 crore in FY22, up 56% year-on-year. Similarly, exports surged by 37% (YOY) to ₹5,607 crore.
In an interview with Activity areaBhatt spoke about export prospects, the impact of geopolitical tensions on the company’s business and efforts to secure ties with coal mines, among others.
What are the company’s export prospects for this year?
RINL has consistently exported significant volumes of semi-finished steel products in the long segment such as blooms and billets over the past few years, which are the main sources of raw materials for many steel rolling mills around the world. . There is no export duty on semi-finished steel. We expect to return to these exports shortly, once the current market price and cost volatility subsides.
Reports suggest the company took no export orders in May and June. Your comments
Recent geopolitical turmoil triggered by the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, rising commodity prices, weak demand from global buyers and lower supplies from Russia hurt export orders during the period.
Volatilities, however, are easing and we expect to return to exporting semi-finished steel soon.
Although it is an onshore steelworks, there is no captive coal mine or connection to iron ore. Any plans on these?
RINL imports approximately 5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of low ash metallurgical coking coal from Australia, USA and Mozambique entering into long term agreements through the Empowered Joint Committee (EJC) composed of the directors of SAIL, RINL and NMDC. In addition, we source local coking coal from Central Coalfields Ltd and Bharat Coking Coal Ltd.
For iron ore, RINL has an agreement with NMDC for a supply of around 10 million, and any shortfall is made up by other domestic sources like Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) and Orissa Minerals Development Company Limited, a subsidiary from RINL, SAIL and NMDC. Karnataka etc
Has the import duty exemption on coking coal benefited the RINL?
The exemption of import duties on coking coal and the imposition of export duties on iron ore and pellets increase the cost competitiveness of steel producers like RINL. We depend on the supply of iron ore and coking coal at market prices.
The third blast furnace of the RINL has been shut down since January. Corrective measures?
Due to soaring coking coal prices and insufficient supplies, the company had adopted the operation of two blast furnaces since late January.
Despite this, we recorded our best production and technical-economic parameters in 2021-22.
Operation of the two blast furnaces continued in FY23 as semi-finished steel export prices corrected sharply, rendering them unremunerative.
The current plan is to optimize production to match finished steel capacity. Once export prices stabilize, we expect to return to full production levels.
July 30, 2022