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For India as everywhere else, the last quarter was a period of striking back after long spells of low activity. Most of the secondary plants have their order books running full. Major consuming industries like automotive, construction, steel and engineering have come back at full throttle, enabling India’s secondary smelters to return to near-100% capacity production. Demand from export markets like China and Japan for intermediate products such as ingots and billets has seen good traction. Extra impetus is being provided by the government’s fast-tracking of its big infrastructure projects.

Despite a 25% cut in automotive output in October owing to a shortage of semiconductors, the overall business environment remains positive.

A key development has been the government’s setting-up of a separate Metal Recycling Authority (MRA), which has been mandated to make India’s recycling sector a hub for development. Among its many planned undertakings, it wants to create standards for metal scrap covering domestic and import supplies. Extensive discussions are already taking place between the trade and the MRA about creating standards which are industry-friendly and do not create any disruption during the transition period.