International prices of non-ferrous metals are fluctuating high and will continue to for the next 12 to 15 months, according to investment information firm ICRA.
The increase in prices is due to a steady turnaround in demand conditions. Prices may have also been influenced by ample liquidity in global financial markets, said ICRA.
"Global non-ferrous metal demand has witnessed a sharper turnaround in the last six months as compared to the levels envisaged earlier," said Senior Vice-President and Group Head Jayanta Roy.
"The recovery has largely been driven by China where non-ferrous metal consumption witnessed growth in CY2020 despite the pandemic. The sharp recovery in demand has led to the current buoyancy in prices," he added.
ICRA said the impact of demand recovery in China was higher in case of copper which witnessed an overall global consumption growth of 2 per cent in CY2020.
The recent improvement in non-ferrous metal prices coupled with a correction in input costs will support consolidated operating margin of the domestic industry, which is likely to improve to 21 per cent in FY2021 and subsequently to 23 per cent in FY2022 from 15 per cent in FY2020.
However, downside risks remain as macro-economic uncertainties due to Covid-19 pandemic are yet to dissipate with the onset of fresh infections across the globe.
Besides, the total indebtedness of domestic manufacturers is currently high with a consolidated debt of almost Rs 65,000 crore drawn to fund large capacity expansion projects commissioned in the past.
"The favourable momentum is likely to continue in the next 12 to 15 months, thereby resulting in a steady turnaround in risk profile of the industry," Roy said.
( With inputs from ANI )
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