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In this issue

In Reverse Gear The economy literally went into reverse gear with the July-September, 2019 quarter GDP dropping to 4.5%, a 2.6% fall compared to the Q2 in the previous fisc. And how did the steel landscape look in the year that was? Bleak. Domestic steel prices crashed 10% across January-August. Private sector investment backed down on liquidity tightness, dull demand and weak exports. Infrastructure activity slowed due to the general elections, casting a long shadow. Decelerated auto sales kept sentiments flat. Naturally, most steel companies' Q2 results took a hit while a heavy monsoon water-logged demand further. Read our Cover Story on pg. 36. In these hard times, operational efficiency is the key. Technology traces on pg. 56 the process of reducing capex, using 100% iron ore fines. It's an impressive line-up of 176 bids as Odisha resumes its mineral auctions for the first 10 blocks after more than a year. It's a classic case of too many miners, too few mines. In People, on pg. 20, we converse with Nakoda Group boss Virendra Goel who spearheaded the growth of one of Chhattisgarh's leading TMT brands. A corpus of INR 32,553.81 crore has accrued to the DMF out of which only INR 6,944 crore has been utilised. The road to benefit of the mining-affected is a long one. Impact probes on pg. 16. Gas-dependent Bangladesh is turning to coal on the back of frenzied infrastructure demand, opening up a sea of opportunities for exporters. World View catches the demand drift on pg. 18. Plus, we focus on a lot more. Enjoy the read! Steel360 wishes its readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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