New Delhi: Domestic steel consumption in the first 10 months of the current fiscal grew by 5.5 per cent to 57.24 million tonnes, primarily on account of growing demand from the construction sector.
 
"The growth in consumption of steel so far is good given the current global economic scenario. The buoyant construction sector is the primary demand mover for steel," a Steel
Ministry official said. Domestic consumption was 54.24 million tonnes in the April-January period in the last fiscal.
     
The construction sector generally consumes 70 per cent of the volume.
    
The growth in production was higher than demand growth at 58.35 million tonnes during the April-January period against 54.51 million tonnes over the same period last year.
 
The global steel production in January, however, was 117 million tonnes, down 7.8 per cent over the same month last year.
    
India's import of steel during the April-January period recorded 0.6 per cent drop to 5.59 million tonnes compared to 5.62 million tonnes a year ago.
    
The official said the drop in imports during the period might prompt the government not to tweak the existing duty levied on steel imports.
    
However, a section of the industry is of the view that government needs to double the rate to 10 per cent in order to protect the domestic steel industry to check growth in imports.
    
India's steel exports, however, increased to 3.45 million tonnes against 2.76 million tonnes a year ago.

(Agencies)