Table of Contents
Indian metals and minerals sector has been an important component of economic growth in India. The country has been a major global player in non-ferrous metals manufacturing, consumption and trading in the last few years. India was the fifth largest producer of aluminum as of 2010 and sixth largest producer of zinc in the world as of 2009. The sector comprises mining, production and trading companies and the big metal players dominate the industry, thus forming a sort of oligopoly.
First half of year 2012 was difficult for the sector due to lower demand from China, which has been the largest importer of metals in the last few years. The value of India’s mineral production recorded a decline as a result of the prevailing global situation. This also led to a steep fall in global base metal prices. However, the prices of metals started showing signs of growth in the last quarter of the year, backed by improved economic outlook in the U.S. and China. Similar trend was reflected in the production of base metals in India, particularly in copper. India is one of the largest importers of precious metals, particularly gold. Gold imports account for a large chunk of India’s foreign exchange outflow and have been one of the major reasons for rising current account deficit in the country, which is expected to exceed 5% of GDP in FY13.
The outlook for Indian metals and minerals sector is stable in long term because of low per capita metal consumption, vast mineral resources and growing construction sector. Reforms and clearances in the mining sector will further add to the growth of this sector.
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