November 18, 2019, New Delhi: Per capita consumption of stainless steel in India has touched a new peak of 2.5 kg in 2019, against 1.2 kg per capita in 2010, registering an increase of over 100% in a period of just eight years. This milestone achievement was announced during the inaugural session of the 30th foundation anniversary celebration of the Indian Stainless Steel Development Association (ISSDA), attended by Hon’ble Minister of State, Ministry of Steel, Shri Faggan Singh Kulaste. Henceforth, India ranks among the top 15 countries in the world in terms of per capita consumption of stainless steel. This was accomplished through collaborative efforts of the domestic stainless steel industry led by ISSDA, along with the pro-industry policy initiatives of the Ministry of Steel. Stainless steel demand in diversified applications such as Architecture, Building & Construction (ABC), Automobile, Railways & Transport (ART), Process Industries and White Goods, apart from conventional use in kitchenware and utensils, led to this increase. Lauding this milepost, Hon’ble Minister of State, Ministry of Steel, Shri Faggan Singh Kulaste added, “Growth rate of stainless steel demand in India is to the tune of 6-7% CAGR, which is also amongst the highest in the world, as stainless steel demand is directly linked to the economic growth. Stainless steel not only has a low life cycle cost but improves the overall quality of life. I compliment the industry for this achievement and assure support for the future growth of the industry”.
Asserting the role of ISSDA in this achievement, President, ISSDA, Mr K K Pahuja, said, “As the torchbearer for the Indian stainless-steel industry, ISSDA has been promoting new stainless steel applications across the spectrum of industries since its inception. With the achievement of 2.5 kg/capita consumption level in short span of time, India has reached an inflexion point and entered in the league of countries of where stainless-steel consumption is recorded on the higher side. India is now the fastest-growing market for stainless steel. ISSDA expresses its gratitude to the domestic industry and the Government for their continued support.”
Smt Rasika Chaube, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Steel; Mr Anant Kumar, Additional Director General, CPWD; Dr Mukesh Kumar, Director SRTMI; Chairman and Managing Director, Jindal Stainless Ltd, Mr Rattan Jindal, and other industry leaders were also present on this occasion.
The stainless steel sector has consistently evolved over the past three decades across all parameters, including production, R&D and consumption patterns. From less than 1 tonne production in the 1980s, India is currently the second-largest producer and consumer of stainless steel in the world. Today, India has grown to be a stainless steel exporting nation from being a net importer in the 1980s. The mettle of Indian stainless steel is proven by the fact that domestic players are exporting stainless steel flat and long product to quality-conscious markets like the US and EU. Indian stainless-steel market is the fastest-growing markets in the world with a CAGR of 8-9%. High recyclability, resistance to corrosion, and a virtually maintenance-free life make stainless steel an indispensable metal for diverse sectors including railways, metro projects, bridges, nuclear, transportation, heavy machinery, process industries, kitchenware etc.
Addressing the challenges faced by the domestic stainless steel industry will add to the growth of consumption. Amidst growing trade protectionist sentiment across the globe, the growing Indian market has become an easy target for the dumping of surplus production from ASEAN producers. Low entry barriers for goods due to operational FTAs with ASEAN, Japan and Korea distort the demand-supply dynamic and adversely impact the domestic manufacturers. Almost half of the industry in the MSME sector has been particularly hit by cheaper imports. Further, a higher input cost on account of import duty on key raw materials, like stainless steel scrap and Ferronickel, makes the Indian product less competitive than its global peers. ISSDA has flagged these issues with the government and is working to remove the growth hurdles for domestic industry.
Established in 1989 by leading stainless steel producers, Indian Stainless Steel Development Association (ISSDA) was formed with the explicit objective of diversifying the applications of stainless steel and increasing usage volumes in the country. At the time of inception of ISSDA, the main visible application in daily life was essentially household kitchenware, which has now diversified significantly. Through the focused efforts of ISSDA and its member companies, the widespread use of stainless steel is evident now, especially in the Architecture, Building & Construction (ABC) and the Automotive, Railway and Transportation (ART) sectors. The technical strength of ISSDA is derived from its close association with the Nickel Institute, the International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF), and more than 20 stainless steel development associations around the world. As a result of these efforts, India has now emerged as the second-largest stainless steel producer and consumer in the world.