NEW DELHI: Amid reports of sudden surge in steel imports in India from China and other Asian countries, the Central government is considering a proposal to impose safeguard duties on steel imports to prevent large-scale dumping of steel in India.
According to sources in the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) the steel ministry has informed them about large-scale dumping of steel from China, Japan and South Korea in the first quarter of this fiscal year, especially after the ban imposed by the US.
“The (steel) ministry is concerned about the sudden surge in the imports. From April onwards, steel imports, mainly from China, Japan and South Korea, have gone up substantially, which has high potential of damaging the domestic players. Local steel producers have therefore demanded imposing of safeguard duty. We have received the request from the ministry and are considering it,” a DGTR official told TNIE.
According to the data shared by the steel ministry, steel imports from China was reported at 3,62,000 tonne in the April-June period, which is 67 per cent up from 2,17,000 tonnes import in the January-March quarter.
The surge is not limited to China. Steel imports from Japan has jumped by 47 per cent to 3,74,000 tonne in the first quarter, which was higher than China. Similarly, steel imports from Korea has gone up by one-third to 7,46,000 tonne in the June quarter.
As warned by experts earlier, this is direct fallout of the steel import ban imposed by the US, which is diverting the consignments to India. With both Japan and South Korea enjoying duty reliefs under India’s Free Trade Agreements with them, the steel imported from these countries are 10 per cent cheaper than domestic steel, giving them an edge over the domestic steel producers.
“Even when India would not be directly impacted by the US protectionist major against steel imports, India needs to be careful that it does not become the dumping ground for many products. For this, the government must take proactive steps,” Ganesh Kumar Gupta, president, Federation of Indian Export Organisations, had warned earlier.