Tatas steel to import 8 to 9 m tonnes steel this fiscal

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Mumbai, June 26 (UNI) The sluggish economic growth notwithstanding, India will be importing around eight to nine million tonnes of steel this fiscal as against six million tonnes last year, Indian Steel major, Tata Steel today said.

Talking to newsmen after announcing the results of the Company for 2007-08, Tata Steel Managing Director B Muthuraman said, ''I don't see any fresh capacity added this year and even if the economy grows at a sluggish rate than originally expected, the imports would be around eight to nine million tonnes.'' He said there was a difference between what India can produce and what it needs for economic growth.

With regard to prices, he anticipated the steel prices to reach closer to the international prices. Stating that the steel industry had dropped the prices of the commodity to help contain the inflationary pressures, he said there were both positive and negative signals facing the steel sector. However, he hoped that the sector would do well this year.

Mr Muthuraman said Tata Steel would continue its journey and emerge a plus 50 million tonne company globally and had been constantly reframing its growth trajectory for both organic and inorganic growth and also acquire raw material sources as part of its global vision. It was also taking various measures to ensure that the return on capital invested reached a figure of 30 per cent by 2012, he said.

These measures included upscaling of the production at the Jamshedpur plant from five to ten million tonnes by 2011, going on stream of the first phase of the greenfield integrated steel project in Kalinganagar in Orissa, with a capacity of three million tonnes by the same year and commencing production of some of the raw material sourcing mines in Oman, Mozambique, Ivory Coast and Australia.

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