India’s BJP-led government, more precisely its finance ministry, recently announced that it would impose, for a period of five years, anti-dumping duties ranging between $180 and $316 per metric ton for some industrial-grades of stainless steel imported from China, Malaysia and South Korea. The idea, obviously, is to stop the tide of surging steel imports.
Subsidized imports, or “dumping,” of steel into a country by producers from other nations can be a vexing issue. Steelmakers from the US, India and Europe have been facing mounting pressure from cheap imports.
US Anti-Dumping Accusations
Earlier this month, for example, MetalMiner reported that six steelmakers with major US operations had filed a trade complaint seeking punitive tariffs for alleged unfair pricing of imported steel from China, India, Italy, South Korea and Taiwan.
The move by the Indian government came after persistent efforts by steel producers to place tariffs on the foreign products for nearly two years. The cheap imports, claimed the Indian steel industry, were damaging its business prospects.
India consumes about one million mt of industrial steel stainless steel, of which, around 40% is imported, largely from China.
The anti-dumping tax obviously was welcomed by domestic steelmakers. N.C. Mathur, president of the Indian Stainless Steel Development Association (ISSDA) was quoted in a news report as saying the move was long overdue. According to Mathur, the duty has been imposed on stainless steel hot-rolled flat products with all its variants originating from China at $309 per mt, $316 per mt from Malaysia and from South Korea at $180 per mt. He added the move would give a respite to the domestic industry.
The ISSDA also complained to the government about of abuse of the India–Malaysia comprehensive economic cooperation agreement (CECA). Stainless cold-rolled flat products from Malaysia are being imported to India through a preferential tariff benefit, the association had claimed in its statement. ISSDA demanded that the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia, investigate the cold-rolled imports.
The author, Sohrab Darabshaw, contributes an Indian perspective on industrial metals markets to MetalMiner.