KOLKATA: SAILBSE -0.27 % hopes that steel price will improve during the current fiscal.
"Steel prices have bottomed out and there is no room for further slide. There can only be improvement in price," SAIL chairman C S Verma said.
He also expected improvement in EBITA margins in the Q1 period FY 2014. In Q4 2012-13, EBITA margin was 9.3 per cent, the company said.
He said Q4 of 2012-13 had a one time hit of Rs 523 crore due to acturial revaluation which pulled down the profits.
"India ultimately remains a demand centre and not like what is happening in the western world. India's steel capacity remains just 10 per cent of China's with only of 80-82 million tonne. Per capita consumption in India is just per 55 kg vs 220kg global average," Verma said when asked about global sluggish trend in steel price.
And therefore, no private or public sector steel company has decided to either curb or abandon any expansion plan.
Speaking about expansion plans, Verma said in the next 10 days the country's largest blast furnance would be operational at Rourkela.
"In the current fiscal the capacity will increase to 19 million tonne from 14 million tonne. In the next 18 months the capacity will be further agumented to 24 million tonne," he said.
The steel major had invested Rs 45,000 crore out of 62,000 crore for the expansion.
The capex for FY 14 would be Rs 11,500 crore, Verma said.