CRU: Indian Stainless Flat Import Probe and Rationale Behind It

29 July 2019

On 3 July 2019, Indian government's Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) initiated an anti-dumping investigation into stainless steel flat rolled imports from China, the US, the European Union, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and nine other countries.

This insight explores the reasons that led to the Indian government considering import restrictions and their possible implications.

Details of the investigation
Initiation of the anti-dumping investigation by DGTR (the investigation arm of the Indian commerce ministry) follows a formal application by the Indian Stainless Steel Development Association (ISSDA), Jindal Stainless Limited, Jindal Stainless (Hisar) Limited and Jindal Stainless Steelway Limited. The product under consideration (PUC) includes all forms and specifications of products under HS codes 7219 and 7220, exclusions being as follows:

  • 304 grade hot rolled stainless steel up to 1650mm wide from China, Malaysia and South Korea; on which anti-dumping duties have been in place since June 2015
  • razor blade-grade steel;
  • coin blanks (under HS code 73269099); and
  • cold rolled stainless steel of 600 mm and above from China, the EU, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan (China), Thailand and the US (except that of more than 1250 mm having actual use as more than 1250 mm); on which anti-dumping duties have been imposed since February 2010.

The period of investigation is April 2018 to March 2019, while the injury investigation period will cover the periods FY15/16, FY16/17, FY17/18 and FY18/19. Affected parties have 40 days from the day of initiation of investigation to comment on the application and initial findings presented.

Reasons leading to this investigation
The Indian government's decision to consider the request of the domestic stainless steel industry to probe into imports of stainless steel (SS) flat rolled products is a consequence of sustained imports into India despite substantial growth in local supply (7% CAGR between 2014-2018).

Indian SS-CR coil imports have exceeded 300 kt /y in the past five years, despite growing domestic production. In fact, in 2019 Q1 CR coil imports reached 96.4 kt, the highest quarterly level since 2017 Q3. A significant contributor to this increase was Indonesia, imports from which tripled on a y/y basis (59% q/q) in 2019 Q1 to 14.6 kt.

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