India Will Become World's Second Biggest Steel Producer by 2016

Currently India is the fifth largest behind China, U.S., Japan and Russia.

As it emerges as a key investment destination for multinational steel giants, India is set to become the world's second largest producer of steel before 2015-16, India's Steel Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said Nov. 14. "During 2006, India emerged as the fifth largest crude steel producing country in the world," he explained. Paswan forecast that India's steel production would be nearly 124 million tons by 2012 and that the country would likely to achieve an annual capacity of around 275 million tons by 2019-20.

Currently China is the world's largest steel producer at 422 million tons, Japan is second largest at 116 million tons, U.S. is third largest at 98.6 million tons while Russia is fourth largest at 98.6 million tons, according to industry figures.

India's steel sector has become a key investment destination for multinational giants like Arcelor-Mittal and Posco. Domestic steel utilities such as SAIL and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd. have also announced plans for massive capacity expansion.

Crude steel output grew by 9.8% growth to 50.88 million tons in the financial year to March 2007 while total capacity increased to 56.84 million tons. Capacity utilization was 89%.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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