SAIL’s profit dipped in FYQ32023 as high imports weighed on the steel prices in India

Steel Prices in India

Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), a leading steel-making company in India, experienced a decline in its fiscal third-quarter profit, illustrating the challenges domestic steel producers face in an environment of rising imports. The company's net profit for the quarter ending December 31 decreased by 22% year-on-year, totaling 4.23 billion rupees ($51 million).

This downturn is attributed to an increase in steel imports, which reached a five-year peak from April to December, consequently positioning India as a net importer of finished steel. This surge in imports, stimulated by heightened economic activities and the government's focus on infrastructure development in anticipation of elections, has adversely impacted the domestic steel industry.

SAIL, in particular, felt the pressure as the influx of imported steel led to a reduction in sales volume and a decline in steel prices. These factors contributed to a nearly 7% fall in SAIL's revenue from operations, which stood at 233.49 billion rupees for the quarter. The impact was notably significant on its Bhilai steel plant, responsible for a third of the company's total revenue, where revenue plummeted by 12%.

Despite the challenging market conditions, SAIL managed to reduce its total expenses by approximately 7%, partially offsetting the revenue decline. This reduction in expenses was primarily due to a 4% decrease in raw material costs, as the company adapted to market dynamics by substituting expensive Australian coking coal with more affordable alternatives from Russia, in response to a 50% price hike in Australian coal.

The situation underscores the broader challenges faced by India's steel sector, as increasing imports and competitive pricing pressures from international markets challenge domestic producers. SAIL's experience reflects the need for strategic adjustments in operations and sourcing to navigate through the complexities of global steel trade and maintain competitiveness.

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According to the article by Procurement Resource, rising steel imports hitting a five-year peak caused Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) to face a 22% drop in FYQ3’23 profit, with revenues down by 7%. The surge in imports, leading to lower steel prices and sales volumes, reflects the intense pressures on domestic producers in a competitive global market.


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