The Ferroalloys Industry is an ancillary and vital industry producing basic alloys, which are required for the growth of the steel industry to cater to both domestic and international market. Ferroalloys are the intermediate products used in the making of steel as deoxidants and for rust proofing.
The products of the industry covered are manganese alloys (High Carbon, Medium Carbon and Low Carbon Ferromanganese and Siliconmanganese), Ferro Silicon, Chrome Alloys(High Carbon, Medium Carbon and Low Carbon Ferro Chrome, Silico chrome ),Noble Ferroalloys (Ferro Molybdenum, Ferro Vanadium, Ferrotungsten, Ferrosilicon Magnesium, etc. All these alloys are an essential ingredient for the manufacture of steel and stainless steel.The capacity utilisation of the ferro alloy industry is only 65 percent for the manganese and chrome alloys. Domestic ferro alloy industry is not able to meet the steel industry expectation in spite of having enough capacity to manufacture ferro alloys. In India, there are 135 companies producing ferroalloys in bulk with 256 furnaces.
The Industry present capacity is around 3.65 million tonnes,including 2.1 million tonnes of manganese alloys and 1.3 million tonnes of chromium alloys and that leaves it with a good amount of export surplus. In the process it has become particularly vulnerable to global trading condition.This is sufficient to take to produce more than 151 million tonnes of steel. The domestic steel industry was trying hard to increase its finished steel production from 48 million tonne in 2006-07 to 60 million tonne by 2010. The Indian steel industry had come to a full swing and is now in an expansion mode. There are plans to scale the steel capacity. The present production of 35 million tonne is expected to increase to 63 million tonne by 2012 and 100 million tonne by 2020.Consequently, the demand for ferro alloys, which are critical inputs for steel manufacturing, will also go up. Production of ferro alloys is projected to be 5 lakh tonne in 2004-05. The demand is expected to grow to 9.4 lakh tonne in 2012 and if exports are also included, it would be 11.4 lakh tonne. The manganese ore demand and supply gap is predicted by analysts to touch 0.6 million tonne.The shortfall is likely to be met through imports. High carbon ferro chrome is mainly used to manufacture stainless steel and balance usage is for manufacturing alloy steel. Currently India produces close to 1 million tons of ferro chrome and exports 3, 50,000 tons of ferro chrome. Most of the production is high carbon with chrome content of 60 to 65 percent.The industry is expecting an increase in the customs duty on ferro alloys to 10% (except for ferro nickel) as against 5%.
Major players in this sector are Essel Mining & Inds.Ltd, Hira Ferro Alloys Ltd, Indian Metals & Ferro Alloys Ltd, Ferro Alloys Corpn.Ltd, Haldia Steels Ltd, etc. The huge steel demand from construction, automobile and machinery building sectors due to a growing urbanization and infrastructure, and proper capacity utilization will lead the ferro Alloys Industry to a bright future in the coming years.