PTI reported that backed by improved demand from auto and construction sectors, the country's steel production increased by nearly 4% to 4.49 million tonne in April compared to the corresponding month 2008. In April 2008, the finished steel production stood at 4.33 million tonne. As per provisional figures of Steel Ministry's Joint Plant Committee, even as the overall steel output went up last month, two of the state run producers SAIL and RINL posted 2.6% decline in production at 1.36 million tonne from 1.39 million tonne.
While, SAIL's production stood at 0.772 million against 0.808 million that of RINL dipped to 0.191 million from 0.232 million. Among the main producers, TATA Steel registered a double digit growth in output at over 0.5 million. Mr PK Rastogi Steel secretary attributed the overall increase in April production to robust demand from consuming sectors as also clearing of inventories by steel companies. He said that “They have cleared their inventories and are producing more. It is a good sign for the sector.” During the month under review, the import of steel items increased by 5.6% to 0.380 million as against 0.360 million. Exports, however, took a beating and fell nearly 16% to 0.310 million from 0.368 million.