India’s Steel Imports Rose In March

6 April 2016

India’s steel imports rose in March, reversing a declining trend in the previous four months.

India imported 994,000 tonnes of steel in March, 18.2% higher than a year ago, according to data complied by the Joint Plant Committee of the steel ministry.

The country’s steel imports declining year on year from November to February, owing to a 20% safeguard duty applicable on imports.

For the financial year 2015-16, India’s steel imports rose 20.2% to 11.21 million tonnes, while steel consumption in the country grew 4.3%. As most of the incremental demand was met through cheaper imports, India’s production for sale fell 1.1% to 91.12 million tonnes.

Most part of the last financial year saw domestic steel manufacturers struggle with higher and cheaper steel imports from countries such as China and Russia, impacting both demand and prices for domestic steel.

In a bid to arrest rising imports, India imposed a provisional safeguard duty of 20% on certain imported steel products in September for 200 days. In March, the safeguard duty was further extended up to March 2018.

In February, India also put in place a minimum import price on various categories of steel to further curtail cheaper imports. These measures have failed to arrest the rise in imports seen in March, which was 9.1% higher compared to February imports.

Sanak Mishra, secretary general, Indian Steel Association said the rise in imports could be due to provisional data reported for the month of March. “We have not seen any rise in imports in March,” he said, adding that he was yet to see the JPC data for March 2016.


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