is generally accepted that 80 to 85 % long products are needed in under-developed countries, about 60 to 65 % in developing
countries and 30 to 35% in developed countries. Further, per capita steel consumption is generally 5 to 50 kg in under-developed,
50 – 250 kg in developing and over 250 kg in developed nations. These are depicted in the two Charts.
a per capita steel consumption of around 500 kg is considered close to the saturation point – except for high population
density small countries. While the world average is around 145 kg, the per capita consumption data on a few countries
is: Singapore 1200 kg, South Korea & Taiwan 860 to 900 kg, Germany 540 kg, USA 410 kg, Malaysia 345 kg, Thailand 150 kg,
China 160 kg and Vietnam 48kg. And India is at 30 kg only - which is just above the average level in most
of Africa. This is also indicative of where India
stands compared to neighbouring countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, China and even Vietnam.
do these figures convey about India?
the current per capita steel consumption in India,
at a dismal 30 kg, is only at the level of an under-developed country, let alone a developing one. It indicates that no meaningful
infrastructural development has occurred in the country as a whole. Second, the current proportion of flat to long product
consumption in India, at about 55% to
45% (ideally, the reverse is desired today), is alarmingly tilted towards the flat products for the present level of development
and is a consumption pattern found in near developed countries.
two facts are significant and indicate that India
has very small pockets of high development alongside major areas in the country in a state of neglect - small developed pockets
where the demand for cars and white goods is high alongside major and large tracts that are under-developed. Clearly, large
amount of work remains to be done in development of the country as a whole.
government is apparently seized of this anomaly and has over the past few years visibly begun to set right matters. The Joint
Plant Committee has estimated steel consumption at a conservative 100 million tonnes (mT) in 2018. This may not be enough
for India to keep its appointment of being
considered as a developed nation in 2020s. While we may have by that time many more areas of high development as per world
standards, the country as a whole would still have large areas that would remain neglected.
adequate development in the years up to 2020, India
will need to -
- Raise its per capita consumption to at least 100 kg
or about 140-150mT steel per year, and
- Correct its flat to long product ratio to around 45% flat
and 55% long.
comparison between China and India
will highlight this.