JSW Steel output tumbles 60% in April on Covid-induced lockdown

JSW Steel reported that its crude steel production was down 60 per cent last month to 5.63 lakh tonnes (lt) against 1.39 million tonnes logged in the same period last year, on the back of unprecedented Covid-induced lockdown.

Flat steel production dipped 64 per cent to 3.44 lt against 9.53 lt registered in the same period last year while that of long products plunged 74 per cent to 89,000 tonnes (3.36 lt).

The output in April adds up to an average capacity utilisation of 38 per cent for the month.

The swift and bold actions were undertaken by the government led to containing the spread Covid infection. Shifting the gear, presumably with similar vigour, it now needs to revive the economy, said the company.

In April, JSW Steel faced formidable challenges including disrupted supply chains, unparalleled drop in demand, uncertainty in seamless transportation of inbound and outbound goods through containment zones across the country and inadequate credit flow to the industry.

It had undertaken multiple initiatives to reduce the fixed cost base, improve efficiencies, and find new markets to remain competitive.

Extending the nationwide lockdown, the government had permitted certain additional activities from April 20 in non-containment zones, subject to requisite approvals.

The company proactively put in place comprehensive protocols on social distancing and work practices in line with guidelines issued by the government and the local administration to ensure that all employees and workplaces remain safe, said the company.

In view of timely preparations to commence and scale up production, the company could secure the requisite approvals and gradually ramping up capacity, it added.

A right mix of fiscal and monetary stimulus measures and various policy initiatives undertaken by the government is appropriate to the current business conditions in pump-priming the economy and reviving the sentiment will drive a gradual recovery in economic conditions, said JSW Steel.

The additional two weeks of lockdown till May 17 with further relaxations to commence some more additional economic activities is a step in the right direction in reviving the sentiment and gradually restoring the confidence to rejuvenate the economy, it added.

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