Stock - India Steel
ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel had debuted the hypermart concept in India. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A ‘hypermarket’ for steel products? Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone will have it, with two of the world’s biggest steelmakers – ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel – behind the venture.

The ‘Hypermart’ is a platform for retail, trade and ‘last-mile’ sales of steel grades for diverse segments used in a range of manufacturing activities, including the production of fabricators, engineering goods, and auto components. This is a concept the two manufacturers had deployed in India, with the Hypermart division accounting for 20 per cent of AM/NS India’s overall revenues. It is expected to rise to 30 per cent as expansion plans for a further expansion of the network are underway.

Steel prices have been heading in one direction since the pandemic started. Adding to the costs are the increases in shipping costs. The situation in Ukraine could add to the pressure on steel prices. ArcelorMittal, which is owned by Lakshmi Mittal and one of the world’s richest men with a $17 billion net worth, recently launched operations in Sharjah as well.

According to Dilip Oommen, CEO of AM/NS India and President - Indian Steel Association (ISA), said, “The Middle East is a high-growth market, and we are glad to join the journey of the region towards development. With the opening of Hypermart, the regional businesses will have direct access to a range of bespoke steel products.”

With the recently struck CEPA trade deal between UAE and India, offtake of steel from India could receive a significant boost with an easing of import duties.