Article by Nirmal Mathur
Today, the world of stainless steel is keenly watching developments in the Indian stainless steel sector. Over the last few years the average growth rate of the Indian stainless steel market has not only been consistent, but has matured enough for the industry to shift its focus from utensil and kitchenware applications to engineering sectors. The architecture, building and construction sector is playing a major role in creating good demand in the domestic market and it is expected that stainless steel will continue to be a big gainer.
Today, you will find that stainless steel handrails, gates, claddings, protective grills, nets and other fabricated interior items are quickly capturing the imagination of the general masses. This growth can be gauged from the fact that in recent past many new pipe and tube mills have emerged in various parts of the country to cater to this demand. Slowly, applications such as window and door frames, overhead water tanks, plumbing and fittings are rising, promising to push demand further.
National Steel Policy (NSP) released by the Ministry of Steel emphasises the importance of life-cycle costing for long-term benefits when selecting material in projects, and stainless steel is likely to be a big winner in some of the key infrastructure projects.
Growing local market
Breakthroughs in potential emerging sectors and applications such as roofing and facades, reinforcement bars, water treatment systems, drinking water supply and plumbing, etc., will provide further impetus to the growth of the stainless steel industry in India. We have a strong and stable government and a sound economic policy. The new GST regime, a major tax reform, was out on 1 July 2017. We have a young population with 65% below the age of 35. All these factors plus the huge government spending for infrastructure is very positive for stainless steel demand growth going forward.