The Naveen Jindal-led Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (JSPL) said Tuesday, despite being hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, it reported its highest-ever exports of steel and related products during April. During April, the company exported 2,48 lakh tonnes (MT) of steel and related products, recording a 109 percent month-on-month growth. Export contributed 74 percent of the overall sales volume of the company.
"The COVID-19 pandemic emerged in India and triggered a crisis of major proportions. By the third week of March 2020, with the declaration of a nationwide obligatory and complete lockdown, this started to affect economic development," the OP Jindal Group group said in a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange.
JSPL India announced a 5 percent year-on-year growth in steel and granulated pig iron output at 550,000 MT in April 2020, despite challenging times. In April 2020, the Group reported consolidated steel output of 655,000 MT, it said.
"All plant operations strictly adhered to the home ministry guidelines and shop floor operations resorted to staggering working to ensure proper physical distancing," JSPL said.
In April 2020, JSPL's blast furnace at Angul reported "highest production ever" of 298,000 MT of hot metal. On a working day basis Blast furnace maintained an average output of around 10,000 MT.
VR Sharma, Managing Director, JSPL, has credited the accomplishment to its agile and decisive team. He said, "JSPL successfully and adequately tackled the domestic demand situation and devised a business continuity strategy and subsequently secured a full export order book to ensure the continued operation of its plant."
"With the continuous support of Indian Railways and various ports in the eastern part of the country (viz Gangavaram, Vizag, Paradip, etc), JSPL continues with steel production to support the Indian economy by earning precious foreign currency," Sharma added.
JSPL announced stand-alone sales of 3,35 lakh MT, the balance of product being shipped and stocked at the port waiting for vessels to be accounted for in the month of May. JSPL reported consolidated sales of 4.56 lakh MT in April 2020.
JSPL's Oman Steel plant reported 1.06 lakh MT of steel production, while steel sales were 1.2 lakh MT in April. "JSPL has also developed R 260 Grade of rails for Indian Railways, which have a carriage capacity of 75 tonnes per wagon compared to 64 tonnes per wagon for ordinary rails. JSPL has also developed a sour grade application plate and round billets," the company said in the exchange filing.
Boosted by strong export revenues, Jindal Steel & Power's shares were quoted 2.40 percent higher than Rs 87.50 on the BSE index on Tuesday. Intraday stocks were high and low at Rs 90 and Rs 85.55, respectively.