The past two fiscals have seen a dramatic turnaround in the fortunes of the Indian steel sector despite the Covid-19 pandemic as prices kept soaring and reached all-time highs.
Demand, too, bounced back strongly after the initial shocks of the pandemic in fiscal 2021. Not surprisingly, steel makers finished fiscal 2022 with healthy profits and significantly deleveraged their balance sheets. Driven by bumper earnings and strengthened financials, companies stepped up capital expenditure.
Then came the bend in the steel ro(a)d in fiscal 2023.
The imposition of a raft of duties, red-hot prices of coal, and moderation in global demand — stemming from macro headwinds — pose a challenge for steel makers.