Essar Steel's canadian arm demands anti-dumping duty on Indian steel

9 July 2015

India's steel industry, which has been accusing Chinese manufactures of dumping the metal in the local market, is facing similar charges in Canada, that too from a unit of an Indian steelmaker. Essar Steel Algoma, the Canadian arm of Essar Steel, has sought anti-dumping and countervailing duty against Indian and Russian steel.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is investigating the complaint of dumping of steel plates by Indian companies such as JSW, Jindal Steel & Power and Steel Authority of India, as well as Russia's Severstal.

The complaint was filed in April this year seeking import duty on carbon and high-strength low-alloy steel plates, mostly of 5-10 mm thickness. "In our complaint, we identified 58 subsidy programmes, which we feel have provided actionable benefits to Indian plate producers and are therefore countervailable under Canadian law," Essar said in response to ET's questions. The CBSA is likely to be ready with its preliminary report on September 8. If Essar Algoma's allegations are found valid, a final decision is likely to be made in December. The Canadian International TradeTribunal will also undertake a parallel preliminary injury inquiry.

According to Essar Algoma, 24,064 tonnes of the steel in question were imported into Canada in 2012, and 17,971 tonnes in 2013. The imports grew to 149,847 tonnes in 2014. Citing Canada's import data, Essar said 110,000 tonnes of carbon and HSLA plate were imported from India alone in 2014. The market share of Indian and Russian steel in Canada grew to 13.3 per cent in 2014 from 1.9 per cent a year earlier for the categories, the Essar Algoma complaint said. The share of locally made products shrank marginally to 35.8 per cent , despite Canada imposing anti-dumping duty on plates from six other countries.

"During FY2014, Essar Steel Algoma shipped 321,000 tonnes of plate products. In 2013, Essar Steel India imported a limited amount of steel to Canada to complement the Essar Steel Algoma product range," the company said.

The Indian steel industry if facing the dumping accusation in Canada at a time when they are fighting against increasing Chinese imports in the home market.

China's installed steelmaking capacity is 1.2 billion capacity, but a third of it is now estimated to be surplus, with demand likely to fall further with a slowdown in the economy. China's surplus is nearly four times India's 110 mt capacity and the neighbouring country has been accused by Indian steel makers of pushing its products into the Indian market. Last year, India imported 10 mt of steel, said Indian Steel Association Secretary-General Sanak Mishra.

Following pressure from the local industry, India on June 16 raised the duty on flat steel to 10% from 7.5, and long steel to 7.5% from 5%. While duty limits were raised to 15% during the budget in March.

India just overtook the US and is expected to beat Japan to become the second largest steel manufacturer by the end of next year. But per-capita steel consumption remains a mere 60 kg in India against the global average of 216 kg, steel ministry estimates showed. That is expected to change with the government's urbanisation drive, which will require large amounts of steel.

Mishra said India can produce most of the steel it needs and the government project should not become import dependent.

The association consists of nine of the country's largest integrated players: Tata Steel, JSPL, JSW, Bhushan Steel & Power, SAIL, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam and Essar.