New Delhi: NMDC Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Sumit Deb has said that iron ore production in the current financial year is expected to decline significantly due to the delay in operationalisation of auctioned mines in Odisha in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Addressing the shareholders in the annual report of the company, which was released on Saturday, Deb said, "India is the 4th largest Iron ore producer in the world. India's iron ore production is estimated to have risen by 15.7 percent in FY20, to reach 243MT, owing to the acceleration in mine production for several non-captive mines However, production in FY21 is expected to come down significantly owing to delays in operationalisation of auctioned mines in Odisha on account of the COVID-19."
While pointing out that the steel demand in most developing economies is expected to fall in FY21, Deb said that India is likely to face a bigger decline in steel demand. India's steel demand is likely to fall in FY2021 because of a slowing economy, plummeting auto industry demand and weakness in construction, infrastructure and many manufacturing sectors, said Deb.
"The Indian Steel Association expects a slump in steel demand in 2021 due to the general lull in the economy exacerbated by the national lockdown which had commenced in the last week of March 2020 for containing the spread of Covid 19. However with the Central government stimulus, Aatmanirbhar programme and with thrust on infrastructure development, the demand is expected to revive. At NMDC we are watching the situation keenly," said the NMDC CMD.
Despite the external challenges we are trying to convert each of them to an opportunity by accelerating our efforts towards stabilising the production and continuously improving our production processes, said the CMD. He added that the greenfield steel plant project at Nagarnar (Chhattisgarh) is progressing well and reaching its commissioning phase.
"I am delighted to inform you that in July 2020, we recorded a sharp rise in overall production and sales as compared to the corresponding period in July 2019, despite the current uncertain situation due to COVID-19. Our company has been able to achieve excellent physical performance through its continual push towards higher volumes which saw production of 2.19 MT and sales 2.57 MT that grew by 13 percent and 7 percent, respectively, over the corresponding period last year," said Deb.
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