Tata Steel BSL crude steel production drops over 41% in June quarter

NEW DELHI: Tata Steel BSL on Thursday said its crude steel production fell over 41 per cent to 6,59,000 tonnes during June quarter 2020 as compared with 11,22,000 tonnes in corresponding period a year ago, hit by COVID-19 pandemic.The company's sales also declined 19.58 per cent to 6,94,000 tonnes in the June quarter as against sales of 8,63,000 tonnes in the first quarter of 2019-20."Production and sales were impacted in the first quarter of 2020-21 as the outbreak of COVID-19 and ensuing mobility restrictions severely impacted industrial activity and consumer sentiment. This affected crude steel production and sales during the quarter," Tata Steel BSL said in a regulatory filing.Tata Steel BSL said the company started ramping up its steel making operation at Angul, Odisha, in the second half of June 2020."Downstream facilities are also being ramped up progressively on the back of improvement in market demand and higher capacity utilisation,” it said.While April and May 2020 sales were lower, the company said it achieved the level of pre-COVID sales volumes in June 2020 with the phased opening of economic activity in India supported by ramp up of production, launch of branded products and higher exports sales.Tata Steel BSL said it is closely monitoring the situation and taking appropriate actions as per the directions issued by the regulatory authorities from time to time keeping in view the health and safety of its employees and the community and the interests of its customers and other stakeholders."Tata Steel BSL continues to stay focused on managing costs and working capital, and ensuring adequate liquidity," the company said.Shares of Tata Steel BSL were trading 3.83 per cent higher at Rs 21.70 apiece on BSE.Tata Steel BSL, formerly known as Bhushan Steel, said it is India's fifth largest flat steel producing company with an existing capacity of 5.6 million tonnes per annum as on March 31, 2020.