Tata Steel poised for 8% rise

Tata Steel poised for 8% rise

Steel rods at a construction site in Bangkok. TSTH expects steel consumption to rise on infrastructure and transport projects this year.
Steel rods at a construction site in Bangkok. TSTH expects steel consumption to rise on infrastructure and transport projects this year.

Tata Steel Thailand (TSTH), a business unit of India's largest steel maker, expects steel consumption in its 2021 fiscal year (April 2020-March 2021) will increase by 8% year-on-year to 1.29-1.30 million tonnes due to growing demand from state infrastructure investment projects.

Chief executive Rajiv Mangal said his company also received a good response from customers in many industries.

"Thailand has market potential for steel products, especially high quality ones. The company is moving in the right way," he said yesterday.

From April to December last year, total sales volume increased by 6.35% year-on-year to 937,000 tonnes, the highest record since 2017.

TSTH's revenue decreased by 0.6% year-on-year to 14.89 billion baht, but profit before tax increased to 271 million baht, compared with the same period in fiscal 2020, when it recorded a loss of 21 million baht.

In the third quarter alone (October-December 2020), sales increased by 14.68% year-on-year to 328,000 tonnes.

Revenue also increased by 10.80% year-on-year to 5.41 billion baht and profit before tax increased by 61.87% year-on-year to 53 billion baht.

Mr Mangal said the company is in the process of drawing up the annual business plan for 2022 fiscal year (April 2021-March 2022) at present and expects to propose it to the TSTH board within March.

TSTH expects the second-phase development of the Thai-Chinese high-speed train project will benefit its business this year. The company expects to win the bid in order to be a supplier for the project.

The company earlier won a contract to supply 16,000 tonnes of steel to the first phase of the same project.

TSTH is also negotiating with a contractor to supply steel products for another high-speed train project connecting three domestic airports under infrastructure development in the Eastern Economic Corridor.

The company expects infrastructure projects will boost steel consumption in Thailand, causing growth to 18-18.5 million tonnes in 2021.

According to TSTH, while the baht's appreciation will benefit the company because it can import cheaper raw materials from foreign countries, the container shortage is a major obstacle making it unable to import the materials to produce steel products.

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