Indian steel players seek protection from Chinese dumping
Source:Xin Steel Industry   Date:2015/09/29

The steel industry might soon get new sops in the form of anti-dumping duties.

The steel ministry is considering request of the industry for additional safeguard duties on imports at a time when there is growing fear of surge in dumping from China.

After imposing 20% duty on hot rolled coils this month, an appeal from the industry for imposing similar measures on cold rolled steel has also come in, a joint secretary in the steel ministry told dna.

"After HR coils, there has been a presentation from cold rolled products manufacturers. First the industry has to make a case. If there is injury, based on that we might take action," Syedain Abbasi, joint secretary, ministry of steel, said.
The government earlier this month imposed a 20% safeguard duty on hot-rolled coil imports following a recommendation by the Directorate General of Safeguards to protect the interest of the domestic industry from cheap imports from China, Russia and others.

The safeguard duty is for a period of 200 days, after which a market study would be conducted to decide whether further protection is needed.

Safeguard duty is a WTO-compatible measure that is brought in for a temporary period to avert any damage to a country's domestic industry from cheap imports.

"If somebody is doing unfair competition, you have safeguards like anti-dumping as well as countervailing duties. While these are there, industry also needs to equip itself with the knowledge of WTO norms and make a case as per those regulations," Abbasi said clarifying that there hasn't been any representations from flat steel products, which is primarily used in automobile and consumer goods sector.

India's steel sector, Abbasi said, is passing through a global oversupply crisis and may take another 18-24 months for revival.

"With imported Chinese steel flooding the Indian market and a global surplus generated in the sector, we have assessed the steel situation within the ministry, and according to that assessment, the industry is expected to remain under stress for the next 18 to 24 months," Abbasi said.

Demand for steel in India is likely to remain strong in the ongoing fiscal, according to Abbasi.

"The government is there to help out the industry in these difficult times. We have imposed safeguard import duty on steel and have taken up the issue of easing the external commercial booking norms for the industry with the finance ministry," he said.

Indian steel demand is expected to remain robust in the current financial year with the consumption expected to increase 5-6% a year, he said.

"While we understand the industry is facing unfair competition from the Chinese producers, a 5-7% steel import is healthy for domestic industry," he said.

Despite the stress in the sector, India's total steel production is seen rising to 300 million tonne by 2025, Abbasi said.



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