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Industry Overview  
Stainless Steel Industry In India

India’s production of stainless steel began in the late sixties of the last century at SAIL’s Alloy Steel Plant at Durgapur, West Bengal. During the eighties of the last century, the Government changed its policies allowing the production of all types of steel in secondary sector. New capacities for the production of stainless steel came up and the country’s production reached about 170,000 tons in 1984-85. SAIL’s Salem Steel Plant (SSP) was commissioned on 13th September, 1981 and the inauguration of the 2nd Phase of SSP expansion took place on 9th April, 1988. The eighties of the last century also saw the installation of AOD/VOD processes by some major Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) units resulting in the use of high carbon ferro-chrome for the first time in India which brought down the cost of production. Some smaller units started production through the Induction Furnace (IF) route by melting stainless steel scrap and recycling it into usable stainless steel.

Towards the late eighties of the last century two major developments took place. These were:

  • The Indian Stainless Steel Development Association (ISSDA) was founded by the seven leading stainless steel producers in the country with the object of diversifying and boosting the use of stainless steel.
  • Nickel prices shot up to high levels in 1988. To counter this, the Indian technologists developed low nickel high manganese austenitic stainless steel grades in the 200 series. In the last decade or so, there has been some standardization of these grades for individual application areas to get higher yield and low cost down stream processing.

From then on Stainless Steel Industry has grown approximately @ 14% p.a. over the last 15 years, such that as on 2008 India contributed to approximately 7% of the World Production of Stainless Steel making it the 5th largest producer in the world. Stainless Steel Mill production in India is estimated at 2 million tons (2007-08).

Types of Stainless Steel Products Produced in India

The following illustration shows the production trends of stainless steel from 1992 to 2008 for types of Stainless Steel Products:


SS Flat product production is estimated at about 1.5 million tons and SS long products at 0.5 mill tons. Almost 50% of the Stainless Steel Production in India is of the 200 Series (<1% Ni (Cr-Min)). 20% is of the 200 Series (1-4% Ni). 20% is of the 304 series. The 400 series and 316 series make up the remaining production in India.

Domestic Consumption of the Stainless Steel in India

It is estimated that out of the 2 million Tons of Stainless Steel produced in India almost 1.4 million tons gets consumed domestically.

The following illustration explains the End-use break up of Stainless Steel in India for 2008:
Source : Indian Stainless Steel Development Association (ISSDA).

A study of end-use pattern for stainless steel in India in 1993 showed that the total use of stainless steel by the construction and transport sectors was less than 1%. In comparison, the western world used 11.6% of end use of stainless steel in construction and 14.9% in transportation, In catering however, India was far ahead of the rest of the world at 75% of end use compared to 36.5% for others. The consumption pattern has changes since then with the Industrial Sectors namely, Transport, Construction and Other Processing Industries increasing their contributions. It may be noted that although the per cent share of kitchenware is down, but in absolute tonnage terms it has increased from 212,500 to 980,000 tons.

Change in Mindset – Increased Applicability of Stainless Steel in ABC and ART Sectors :
ABC Sectors
ART Sectors