New Delhi: Aluminium products maker Jindal Aluminium Ltd has not witnessed any pandemic impact on its exports and the international demand is expected to grow with the emerging markets, said Pragun Jindal Khaitan, Vice-Chairman & Managing Director of the company.
In an interaction with IANS, Khaitan, noted that the growth of exports would require that Indian aluminium product manufacturers are given a level playing field with the international counterparts.
The company exports 15-20 per cent of its products.
“We did not experience any rise or drop in export, with 15 to 20 per cent of the total output dispersed as per demand, thus keeping the cycle constant,” he said.
He, however, noted that since the US has imposed a 48 per cent anti-dumping duty on aluminium sheets and coils from India, the exports there are subdued.
Khaitan added that the company is making up for this shortfall by concentrating its efforts to export to other countries.
The MD noted that due to the well-spread product mix, the company makes up for the demand loss in a particular sector by pushing its line of products in another segment, not only in domestic but also in the international market.
He was of the view that the pandemic opened new markets like Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, while the traditional markets of the UK, US, and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations have adversely impacted.
“Currently, the global and Indian economies are both scaling up steadily. With the emerging new markets, one can say that exports have a promising future in the years to come provided the Indian downstream Aluminium product manufacturers are given a level playing field with the international counterparts,” Khaitan told IANS.
Currently, the Jindal Aluminium occupies 25-30 per cent of the market share in the Aluminium extruded, and 10 to 12 percent in the flat-rolled products category.
On the performance for the current financial year, he said that the company has grown organically and aims to bring the overall sales to the same levels as the previous fiscal.
“But inorganic growth that avoids the traps of cultural clash and differing value systems cannot be ignoredIt depends entirely on the opportunities available.”
On the operations of the aluminium product maker amid the pandemic, Khaitan said that by the end of the second quarter of FY21, it managed to revive operations up to 65 to 70 percent due to the recommenced demand in the building and constructions, defence, industrials, and automotive sectors.
In the October-December quarter the company operated at full capacity with demand and supply chain coming back to regular.
On the impact on demand, he noted that as aluminium downstream products have a wide-scale application, the reduced demand in one sector does not stunt the growth of the industry.
Although the disruption in global supply chain impacted the manufacturing of these products, the production of Jindal Aluminium did not stop completely.
“Our operations continued in line with the demand. The first quarter of the financial year saw a decline in demand. However, the July-September period witnessed revival due to the resumption and boost to crucial sectors,” he said.
On an year-on-year (YoY) basis, the revenue in the third quarter of the financial year was on par with the previous levels, he added.
Talking on the outlook for the sector, the Jindal Aluminium Vice Chairman said that for the sector to witness a ‘V-shaped’ recovery and safeguard MSMEs from cheap imports, the government should increase import duty on the downstream aluminium products, and the domestically produced primary aluminium should be made available duty free in India.
Further, the sector expects the Government to rationalise the import duty structure for protecting the local industries, he said, adding that it should be lower at the raw material stage and should rise with the value chain.
He was of the view that the domestically produced primary aluminium should be made available at duty-free prices.
Simultaneously, the government must continue encouraging domestic production for making the country self-reliant, he said.
“Sector-specific PLI schemes can strengthen the growth vision of the downstream Aluminium sector. Such a focused strategy, if implemented can encourage the development of the ecosystem required for domestic manufacturing,” Khaitan said.
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