India’s steel imports down 34% in April
The Dollar Business Bureau
India’s steel imports in April dropped to its lowest figure in almost a year, as the inbound shipments of the metal fell by over 34 percent.
Last month, imports of steel dropped 34.20 percent to 654,000 metric tonnes from 994,000 tonnes in March this year, said a provisional data released by the Steel Ministry.
The fall in imports has been significant for various reasons. For one, the drop comes in the background of the government’s prolonged efforts to curb cheap imports of steel from various countries, especially China. India had bought a record 11.2 million tonnes of steel during January-March this year.
And second, by far the most significant, a weakening of the Chinese currency thereby adding further woes to the global economic slowdown, has compelled the world’s second largest economy to ship out metal at a throw-away prices in order to sustain its manufacturing industry. This has of late prompted India and the US to take stern measures to protect their domestic industry.
The Indian steel industry believes that a further fall in Indian steel imports is anticipated considering the government’s unprecedented efforts to halt the metal imports. It further projects the domestic steel prices to be competitive or at least lower than imported rates.
India’s domestic production of steel marginally picked up in April, rising by 3 percent to 7.5 million tonnes over the corresponding month of 2015. Consumption, however, fell 5 percent to 5.75 million tonnes. Exports, too, declined 27 percent to 308,000 tonnes in April.
With an aim to bolster domestic steel industry, the steel ministry has been mulling over pitching for a dedicated fund under the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF). According to a recent prediction, the Indian steel industry requires a massive $190 billion investment.