Tata Steel CEO TV Narendran Says Demand Growing Faster Than GDP

Tata Steel Ltd.’s domestic demand is strong and for the first time has risen faster than the country’s growth rate, according to Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director TV Narendran.

Steel consumption in India has grown 10% this year as compared with the previous year, Narendran told NDTV Profit’s Sajeet Manghat. “We are finally seeing steel consumption grow at a rate faster than the GDP growth rate.” This uptick in demand was expected, given the focus and spending on infrastructure, he said.

However, globally—particularly in Europe—the demand is still a bit fragile, according to the CEO. “The European continent is still recovering from the aftermath of Covid, and the Ukraine war.” But, over the last few weeks, the company has seen prices rising in Europe because of the issues in the Red Sea.

In the December earnings, the steel manufacturer reported that it has returned to profit. However, it missed analysts’ estimates.

The Tata Group-owned company reported a net profit of Rs 522.14 crore in the quarter ended December 2023. That compares with the Rs 1,687-crore consensus estimate of profit by analysts tracked by Bloomberg.

Narendran said that the global production volume is expected to grow in the coming quarters. The company has seen a few bad quarters in the Netherlands, but volume will grow over the next few quarters and turn positive, he said.

“That (improving volume) will improve our overall Ebitda per tonne… India demand continues to be strong and we expect numbers to be resilient.”

Operationally, the volume in its U.K. plant will be lower, he said.

Coking coal and iron ore prices are rising globally, as Chinese steel production is strong, Narendran said. International steel prices have been impacted because of increasing Chinese exports, he said.

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