JUST a day after the steel producers rose the price of the alloy, the spot steel price in Punjab has hardened by Rs 1,700 per metric tonne (MT), compounding the woes of steel consuming industry in the state.
Within a day, the steel ingot price has zoomed to Rs 37,200 per MT from Rs 35,500 per MT, while steel manufacturers further expect it to reach to Rs 38,000 per MT owing to rise in the prices of raw material.
According to steel traders, the price of sponge iron has jumped to Rs 26,000 MT from Rs 24,000 MT and the rate of scrap has increased from Rs 26,000 to Rs 27,500 per MT.
“The prices of sponge iron and scrap, which are basic raw material for Punjab-based steel producers have increased in the range of Rs 8,000-10,000 per MT within two months and it has really put pressure on steel producers to jack up rates,” said Raj Sood, Mandi Gobindgarh-based steel trader.
Punjab - a major producer of steel - has almost 200 induction furnaces and four arc furnaces spread across Mandi Gobindgarh, Ludhiana and Khanna. It consumes almost 10,000 MT of scrap and sponge iron per day for producing ingot in order to meet requirement of bicycle industry, auto parts, hand tools, fasteners and particularly construction industry.
Meanwhile, spiraling steel price has sent ripple among the Punjab’s steel consuming industry which even observed a day long bandh last month to protest against the rising steel prices.
The industry representatives have urged the state Government to reduce the CST and VAT on steel by one per cent and two per cent respectively. “If the government accepts this proposal in coming state budget, the dwindling steel industry could be saved,” said Amarjeet Goyal, Mandi Gondgarhbased steel producer.