Indian stainless steel manufacturer Jindal Stainless Limited (JSL), claims it has regained its footing in export volumes by ramping-up production for global markets.

With India yet to completely lift the lockdown, JSL’s strategic initiative to recapture volumes in export markets is said to be yielding encouraging results. In the month of May, the company despatched export orders of over 12kt, comprising more than 40% of all shipments. In a normal month, this percentage hovers around 18-20%. In June, JSL is slated to move over 18kt, taking its export volume back to pre-COVID-19 levels.

Abhyuday Jindal, managing director of JSL, commented: “We’ve adjusted our sails to weather the storm. We’re aggressively chasing export markets in the EU and Russia, which constitute the bulk of our export volumes. Besides, we are also looking afresh at other markets like Korea and South America to maximise exports. We are optimising operations at our plants to align with the market conditions and we’ll be swift to respond to domestic demand upon revival.”

JSL claims it has gradually ramped-up its operations since the re-opening of its manufacturing facility at the beginning of May. By the end of the month, its downstream facilities were operating at ~60% of installed capacity, and overall capacity utilisation reached ~40%. As lockdown continues to ease, utilisation will be ramped up in June. The company is co-ordinating closely with local authorities to ensure uninterrupted operations and a smooth flow of goods throughout the supply chain.

According to JSL,domestic demand for stainless steel is expected to pick up in a couple of months. The health and medical industry is opening up new avenues for production of equipment and infrastructure made with stainless steel. Moreover, the government’s push towards infrastructure projects, along with robust demand from railways, will generate sustained demand for the industry. As more people switch to private modes of transport, demand from the two-wheeler segment, where the company enjoys a majority market share, is bound to increase.

As global companies looking to shift their manufacturing bases out of China, India, says JSL, is poised to be the new ‘Manufacturing Hub’.