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Steel exports buoy JSW Steel's fiscal Q1'18 output, sales

International steel markets helped Indian steelmaker JSW Steel Ltd. maintain and slightly improve its crude steel output and sales in the three months to June 30 after domestic sales suffered in the lead-up to India's introduction of a goods and services tax, or GST.

The company said Aug. 1 that following a sharp ramp-up of utilization in the final quarter of its fiscal 2017, crude steel production in the first quarter of fiscal 2018 was up 1% year over year at 3.9 million tonnes.

Total steel sales climbed 5% to 3.5 million tonnes in the first quarter compared to the same quarter a year earlier.

JSW said its domestic sales were impacted by industrywide destocking, especially for long products and sales, as customers adopted a cautious approach toward carrying inventories in the run-up to the July 1 implementation of GST in India.

However, first-quarter exports climbed 26% year over year, with demand and pricing for steel products in international markets remaining buoyant.

JSW booked consolidated net profit after tax of 6.24 billion Indian rupees and revenue of about 159.77 billion rupees.

Separately, The Economic Times of India reported Aug. 1 that JSW plans to raise up to 50.0 billion rupees through the issuance of nonconvertible debentures.

The cash raised will be used to repay short-term debt and top-up working capital.

As of Aug. 1, US$1 was equivalent to 64.07 Indian rupees.