Established in India in 1920s, the Steel Wire Industry has progressed remarkably and has successfully developed and manufactured various types of high carbon, alloy steel and special steel wires in addition to mild steel wires. The industry has become versatile enough to meet the requirements of numerous consuming sectors. This sophistication has been possible due to continuous and well-planned R & D efforts on part of the manufacturers with patronage of SWMAI. The result has been that the industry is in a position to manufacture and supply steel wires, both in the domestic and the international markets, in accordance with Indian (BIS) and international (ASTM, DIN, JIS, BSS) standards.
It is seen that this industry is growing about 5-6% during last two years. The demand of wires is expected to increase in leaps and bounds in the years to come. Out of the total steel consumed in India wire constitutes only 5%. However, if pace of development picks up the domestic consumption of wires will increase by 2%�3% to 7%-8% of the steel consumption.
In our Country, if we closely look at the wire demand, almost 88% of it is for wires in plain carbon steel grades, 5% would be for Stainless Steel grades and the balance would be for Alloy Steel Wires.
On further analysis, out of the plain carbon wires almost 75% to 80% of the demand is for black/uncoated wires and the balance 20% to 25% is for wires coated with other base metals e.g. Zinc (Galvanized), Copper, Bronze, and other coating materials.
Size of the Steel Wire Industry in India is 2.6 million tonne approximately in terms of volume & US $ 1.7 billion in terms of value, combining both organized and unorganized sectors. Approximately, 70 per cent of total production comes from organized producers and the rest from the unorganized counterpart. Wire Industry is accountable for 5 per cent of total demand of steel in India. India constitutes 1 per cent of the global wire exports and approximately 3 per cent of Indian production caters a portion of the global markets.
In 2010, the Global wire business has been something like 48-50 million tons and in terms of Dollars it was US $ 29 billion. This market is also expected to grow to some 56 million tons of wires by 2011 and in Dollar terms it would be something like US $ 32 billion. North America, Europe and South East Asia each account for approximately 25% of the Global demand for the Steel Wires.
The fortunes of the steel wire industry are closely linked to the fortunes of the Primary steel Industry. Internationally steelmakers� prospects to 2015 are mixed, due to consolidations in most parts of the old industrial world; a resurgence of steelmaking capacity addition in the Far East (particularly in India), in Latin America (Brazil) and in the Middle East; a revitalization of the Russian steel industry and continued massive expansion in China. One factor stimulating new capacity is the technological revolution which is sweeping the industry.
The future of emerging market economies is looking bright. Developing countries, particularly the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), are very optimistic about their prospects since these economies are recovering and advancing more swiftly than many had envisaged. It has been estimated that, India�s steel consumption will continue to grow at an annual rate of nearly 16% till 2012, fuelled by demand for construction projects worth US$ 1 trillion. The scope for raising the total consumption of steel is huge, given that per capita steel consumption is only 44.3 kgs � compared to 190.4 kgs across the world and 318.5 kgs in China. The growth potential of the Indian steel Industry is demonstrated by the following graphic:
With the growth in steel production India is projected to be a net exporter of steel in the near future. The abundant availability of raw materials will provide a tremendous growth opportunity for the steel wire industry.
The Steel Wire Industry in India is quite competitive in its production costs compared to other developed and developing countries. This cost competitiveness needs to be maintained by adoption of new and clean technologies, which lower specific energy consumption and which generate much lesser pollutants. We need to automate processes and focus on product quality and packaging to produce wires internationally acceptable.
In today�s environmentally conscious world adoption of such technologies would make the products much more acceptable and also lower costs by reducing wastages. This will throw open many new markets accelerating the pace of growth of the industry.
Raw materials mainly wire rods account for a major part of the cost of wires. In the past there were very few suppliers but with the growth in the steel industry a number of mid-sized companies have started producing Mild Steel Wire Rods. This has increased the availability and resulted in better commercial terms for the wire industry. Most value added wires use high carbon wire rods as an input. These are now available in the country from Five Major Suppliers (JSPL, JSW, RINL, TISCO, USHA MARTIN) with imports as an alternative whenever they are commercially viable. A number of new wire rod mills (VISA STEEL, ELECTROSTEEL CASTING) are at an advanced stage of commissioning. This will make all grades of wire rods abundantly available.
The steel wire industry in India is at a juncture where very soon raw materials will be available at internationally competitive rates, consumption is poised to jump, new export markets are waiting to be tapped, and skilled manpower is readily available. Therefore, there will be a bright future ahead for the Steel Wire Industry.
Indian Wire Rope Manufacturers commenced production in early 1960s in technical collaboration with various foreign manufacturers. Gradually, they became self-reliant in technology and since then, Indian Manufacturers have established and widened their product range for fulfilling the requirements of wire ropes in India and abroad for various applications, some of which are mentioned below: