Steel producers ask Centre to act against growing imports
Sai Nikesh | The Dollar Business The domestic steel producers of India on Monday urged the Government of India to strongly act against the growing imports of steel into the country. The steel producers urged the Government of India to increase import duties or implement anti-dumping policies, in order to curb the growing steel imports. The domestic steel producers are of the view that they will have surplus demand in view of the growing infrastructure projects. In this regard, they don’t want their production left behind and so they are urging the government to place curb on growing steel imports. According to earlier reports, the domestic companies had decreased their costs below their production values, due to the cheap imports from the Free-Trade-Agreement nations and Association of South-East Asian Nations. Additional 15000 tons of imports are expected from these nations at the end of current financial year to an already-existing 4,20,000 tons, which would result in the domestic industry end up with huge dumps. During the current financial year, India stood as a net importer of steel. According to the statistics, India’s steel imports during a period between April-January of the current financial year, stood at 8.1 million tons against 4.8 million tons year-on-year, registering a growth of 69%. In calendar 2014, India’s imports from China alone totaled 2.83 million tons compared to 1.25 million tons, an increase of 128%. With more imports of low grade iron from Goa and high grade ore from Brazil and Australia, China is into producing quality steel by mixing the both and is dumping the output into its importing countries, say the reports. Following the mining curbs in the Goa mining sector, China started producing its own steel and is currently producing in surplus quantities. Currently, 36% of Indian imports come from China, from toys to steel, as importers have obtained various steel products, reaching 2.8 million tons in 2014. The indigenous manufacturers decry that besides the quality steel, the Chinese imports into India also witness low quality dumps, which is affecting the local industry, say the sources. In this regard, the domestic producers have been asking the government to contain imports from China and encourage the domestic steel production under Make in India policy. The Union Minister of Mines and Steel Narendra Singh Tomar had stated earlier this week that the Government of India would discuss this issue of curbs on steel imports in its upcoming budget. If implemented, the government’s promise to contain steel imports and raising import duties or implementing anti-dumping policies will come as an encouragement to the domestic steel producers.
This article was published on February 16, 2015.