New Delhi: Steel consumption in the country grew by just 3.3 percent to 73.3 million tonnes in 2012-13 on subdued demand due to slackening economy and high interest rates.
The consumption growth is the lowest in the last three years. It grew by 5.5 percent in 2011-12 and 9.9 percent in 2010-11, according to the data complied by Joint Plant Committee, a body under the Steel Ministry.
The consumption of steel, used mainly in construction and consumer durables, was at 71 million tonnes a year ago.
Total production expanded by mere 2.5 percent during 2012-13 to 75.5 million tonnes.
An industry expert said decline in consumption forced almost all steel companies to resort to curtailing capacity utilisation.
"The consumption of steel is a factor of many things. It depends on the growth of the economy. A sound economy ensures higher consumption. User industries such as construction and consumer durables had a bad run last fiscal. This resulted the dip in demand," the expert said.
A stubbornly high inflation and a tight monetary policy forced consumers to postpone buying decisions leading to subdued demand for steel, the expert added.
First Published: Tuesday, April 9, 2013, 16:12