India's Largest Steel Company Reports Sales Rising and Demand Increasing

Tata Steel expects Feb. sales to rise by 15%

Tata Steel, India’s largest steel producer, is expecting its sales to rise by 10-15 percent in February from a month ago, as demand scenario is gradually improving, Mr. B. Muthuraman, Managing Director, said here on Friday.

“In the light of what is happening around the world, the Indian demand situation (of steel) is not bad. January has been better than December, December was better than November and I can see February will be better than January. So we are slowly coming back,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the International Exhibition on Foundry Technology.

Tata Steel registered a 26 percent rise in sales in January as against December. “In the month of February, we will sell about another 10-15 percent more than what we sold in January,” he said. It would take 6-12 months for the economy to come back on track, he added.

“There are some sectors of the economy, which are not doing so well like automobile and consumer durables, while construction is not doing badly,” Muthuraman said while pointing out that the price of steel was still significantly lower than last year. Answering questions from reporters, he said Tata Steel is “not looking at any new acquisitions for the time being.” “Acquisition of raw materials is important for us. We have acquired raw material bases in Canada, South Africa, and Mozambique, which will fructify in one to two years’ time,” he said.

In October, Tata Steel, through its Singapore arm, bought 19.9 percent stake in the Canadian mining firm New Millennium Capital Corp.

In 2007, it had acquired 35 percent stake in Riversdale Mining’s Mozambique coal project.

Corus, Mr Muthuraman said, has an “edge over other steel makers in Europe” as it has adopted several short-term measures to tide over the present economic downturn.

“Corus is going to save something like ?600 million between now and the end of the year through cost reduction, product mix changes, by conserving cash, and working capital reduction,” he said. (Source: Hindu Business Line)