ArcelorMittal says India a growth target

24th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

The world's largest steelmaker ArcelorMittal says India and Brazil are "immediate" growth targets for the company.

"We expect continued growth in steel consumption in the developing world," ArcelorMittal chairman and chief executive Lakshmi Mittal said in a presentation to investors, the Press Trust of India reported late on Friday.

"Immediate targets" for ArcelorMittal's growth are India and Brazil, Mittal added.

In the years ahead, emerging markets such as India, Brazil and China will continue to underpin steelmakers' profitability, thanks to fast-paced urbanization and industrialization, analysts say.

Mittal forecast steel demand would continue growing in China, but added there was a significant, broad-based growth in steel consumption beyond China as well.

Some one-third of Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal's shipments already go to emerging markets.

ArcelorMittal has announced it will set up a $6.3 billion six-million-metric-ton-a-year steel plant in the Bellary district of the southern Indian state of Karnata.

South Korean steel giant Posco is also aiming to construct a six-million-ton-a-year plant in Karnataka but is still finalising a location.

The plans come after the Karnataka state government urged steelmakers last year to establish plants in the iron-ore-rich state as it competes with nearby mineral-wealthy Orissa and Jharkhand states for projects.

ArcelorMittal and Posco have run into difficulties in acquiring land for giant projects planned in Orissa and Jharkhand due to opposition from farmers who do not want to give up their plots.

Acquiring land for factories, roads, and other projects has sometimes created deadly battlegrounds in India with many farmers complaining they have been forced to sell at below market rates and robbed of their livelihoods.

Earlier this month, the Indian government introduced a new land acquisition bill in parliament aimed at smoothing the process and propelling the nation's industrial development.

© 2011 AFP

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