Even as India’s aluminium imports continue to rise, Vedanta Ltd. plans to increase its exports of the metal. Such was the message from a company officer who spoke with domestic media earlier this week.
In the current fiscal year the firm plans to send over half its primary aluminium production overseas. As India’s premier aluminium producer, that translates to yearly exports of at least 980 thousand metric tons of raw aluminium to foreign buyers.
Though Vedanta has seen its production rise by 17 percent on the year, the domestic market for its product continues to shrink. At present, 58 percent of India’s aluminium need is filled by imports, most of which are from southeast Asian countries under free-trade agreements. Last year saw imports reach 2.3 million metric tons.
“Over the last few years we have observed a surge of aluminium scrap imports,” explained Vedanta’s chief executive officer (aluminium and power) Ajay Kapur.
“We, as an industry, are working with the Indian government seeking support to protect the domestic primary industry from increasing scrap import. The domestic market continues to be our key focus for maximising sales in India.”
Of Vedanta’s nameplate capacity of 2.3 million metric tons, less than a third of it was sold to domestic buyers, despite having a 37-percent share of the domestic market among home-grown producers.
Meanwhile, the firm increased sales to Asia, Europe, and the Americas in the prior fiscal year, raising the total volume shipped by 30 percent to 1.3 million metric tons.
“These will continue to be our focus area, apart from specific value-added product sales in Europe and USA,” said Kapur. “We do not see Rusal-related developments to significantly impact our exports to these geographies.”
Vedanta is also working to boost downstream and value-added offerings. Also in the crosshairs is the automotive market and its need for specialty aluminium alloys.
“Aluminium billets, which are majorly used in building & construction as well as the transportation industry is one of the most sought-after value-added products,” Kapur said. “Vedanta, with its stronghold on quality has created an established base of customers globally. With over 20 plus variants, our billets have made a strong mark in the global extrusion industry.”