Indonesia has joined a growing list of countries that have imposed protectionist measures to safeguard interests of their domestic steel industries. Indian steel companies, too, have sought a duty hike to counter the impact of rising steel imports and are pinning their hopes on getting some relief in the Union budget.
Indonesia plans to introduce a 15% anti-dumping duty on steel to prevent massive steel imports with the new duty likely to be implemented by March 2015. However, it's not the first country to introduce anti-dumping duty on steel products. Recently, China imposed anti-dumping duty on certain stainless steel tubes from Japan and the European Union.
Malaysia, too, slapped anti-dumping duty on hot rolled coils imported from China and Indonesia. Since October last year, Vietnam has also imposed duties on cold-rolled stainless steel from China, Malaysia and Indonesia. The latter imported 8.2 million tonne (MT) of steel in 2013, against 3.4 MT in 2009.This will protect domestic steel manufacturers, said Indonesia's co-ordinating minister for the economy Sofyan Djalil, in statement on Monday.
R Muralidharan, senior director, Deloitte in India, said: "Governments are taking measures to encourage the domestic manufacturing industry. It can either be done by reducing duty on raw materials to lower the cost of production or raise duty on finished products to curtail cheap imports. It goes well with the logic of maintaining a duty differential between raw materials and final products." Analysts attribute China's overcapacity as the main reason behind it. Abhisar Jain, research analyst at Centrum Broking, said: "China is suffering from a chronic over capacity. While there has been a slowdown in its economy, it's unable to reduce production in a big way and needs to find markets for the steel it is producing.This has led to an increase in exports and a ripple effect with prices falling."
Indian steel companies have been urging the government to take measures to restrain steel imports, mainly from China, Japan and Korea.