The country, the fourth largest steel producing destination in the world, had consumed 66.78 MT steel during corresponding period last fiscal, Joint Plant Committee, a Steel Ministry Unit, said in its monthly report today.
"India's real consumption of total finished steel was up by 0.7 per cent year-on-year in April-February FY'14, impacted primarily by the slowdown in the domestic economy and a sharp decline in imports," JPC said.
India's economy grew below expectations at 4.7 per cent in October-December on falling output in the manufacturing sector. The country's GDP had expanded 4.8 per cent in the July-September quarter and 4.4 per cent in April-June. Growth in the first nine months (April-December) was 4.6 per cent.
"The low growth rate in domestic steel consumption indicated that base level demand conditions continued to be weak during the current fiscal so far," it said.
India's steel imports were down 31.1 per cent during the April-February period, but exports were up 8.1 per cent at 5.045 MT.
Consumption of finished steel was up 1.8 per cent in February at 6.174 MT, encouraged by a 5.3 per cent rise in production for sale and a 36.8 per cent decline in export. There was a 38.3 per cent decline in imports.
"Production for sale of total finished steel at 77.322 MT registering a growth of 4.1 per cent during April-February of FY'14 encouraged by a 9.8 per cent growth in case of the main producers," JPC said.
Production of total finished steel grew by 5.3 per cent in February, 2014 at 7.016 MT over February 2013. Main producers contributed 10 per cent increase while there was a 5.5 per cent rise in case of others.