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In this issue

Steel a Lot More to Come Just as we were breathing easy that the worst was behind us, and bracing to usher in the new year on a note of optimism, with prospects of the vaccine emerging and hospitals affirming a drop in cases, a new strain of SARS-CoV2 has raised its ugly head, putting the entire world in fear of a fresh Covid wave. But, prior to this development, many foreign financial services companies, sounded upbeat on India’s growth. Morgan Stanley, for instance, expected India’s GDP to grow at 9.8% on-year in 2021, after contracting 5.7% on-year in 2020. As per Nomura, the Indian economy is expected to grow at 9.9% in 2021, eclipsing China (2021 GDP growth pegged at 9%) and Singapore (at 7.5%) during this period. However, the growth outlooks have their challenges. Uncertainty stemming from faster tightening of domestic financial conditions, higher-than-expected stressed asset creation, and slower recapitalisation of PSU banks may weigh on the growth trend, apart from risks from a slowing global growth, said Morgan Stanley. Nomura warns against the structural balance sheet challenges, particularly elevated NPAs in the financial sector, constrained fiscal space and a corporate sector focused more on deleveraging than capex. Steel360, in this special issue, takes a look at how 2021 could pan out for the steel industry. The market is expected to be in recovery mode. Domestic demand is moving northward, so are prices, impelled by rising iron ore prices, tightness in scrap supply and increased infra spending. Finished steel demand may gain almost 20% to 100.4 MnT in 2021 compared to 2020’s 81.9 MnT. With crude steel production already nearing pre-Covid levels. it is likely to cross 140 MnT by FY22. But ore supply issues need to be ironed out. Enjoy the read!

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