JSW Steel to work closely with MSMEs to unravel potential

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Launches website to understand their needs; offers preferential pricing to meet MSMEs’ demand

In a new initiative rolled out by JSW Steel, the steel maker said it will work closely with micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and develop new products for this sector after understanding their needs.

The company has launched a new website ―JSW Steel for MSMEs ― where small companies can register their requirements and JSW Steel will fulfil it on priority basis through its network across the country. Currently, MSMEs account for 25 per cent of JSW Steel’s sales.

JSW Steel has recently initiated talks with the forging industry to understand their requirements. For instance, China has forging steel capacity of 10 million tonne (mt) while it is just 2.5 mt in India.

Recently, the Engineering Export Promotion Council of India had complained that the short supply and sharp rise in steel prices were crippling the country’s engineering exports amid another wave of Covid-19 in several major economies.

India’s engineering exports declined by 14 per cent in the first seven months of this fiscal due to the reeling global economy amid rising Covid-19 cases.

Jayant Acharya, Director (Commercial and Marketing), JSW Steel, told BusinessLine that the government has set of a target of doubling engineering exports by MSMEs from the current level of about $80 billion, and this cannot be achieved unless the key raw material ― steel ― is made available to them.

JSW Steel has decided to supply steel even in small quantities at preferential pricing to MSMEs so that their contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) in the next five years increases to 50 per cent from 30 per cent now, he added.

JSW Steel expects the focus on MSMEs in segments such as fasteners and bearings to push its sales volumes of value-added products.

Mahesh Desai, Chairman, EEPC India, said engineering exporters are deeply concerned over rising steel prices. For instance, the price of hot rolled coils, an essential raw material for the engineering industry, has increased from ₹35,000 per tonne to ₹42,000 per tonne in the past six months, he added.

Acharya said the shortage and subsequent increase in iron ore prices is one of the reasons for the rise in steel prices.

Of the 19 iron mines auctioned by the Government recently, only four mines of JSW Steel and one of ArcelorMittal have started production, leading to severe shortage of iron ore.

While iron ore demand of steel companies in the first half of this fiscal was 80 mt, he said the supply was only 75 mt. Of the overall supply, 21 mt of iron ore was exported and another nine mt was shipped out as pellets, said Acharya.

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