Union Budget 2019: Steel ministry seeks higher import duties on finished products to deter Chinese imports

India’s steel ministry has sought an immediate increase in import duties on finished steel products to 15 percent from a range of 7.5 percent to 12.5 percent, citing a threat from Chinese imports and excess global capacity, an internal note reviewed by Reuters showed

Reuters June 21, 2019 17:48:23 IST
Union Budget 2019: Steel ministry seeks higher import duties on finished products to deter Chinese imports
  • The steel ministry has proposed the higher duties as part of its recommendations to the finance ministry for the upcoming 2019-20 budget that is due out on 5 July

  • The U.S.-China trade war is threatening Indian markets as China looks for alternative markets for its steel exports, India’s steel ministry said

  • Existing anti-dumping and countervailing duties have been rendered ineffective by the volatility in steel prices, the ministry said

New Delhi: India’s steel ministry has sought an immediate increase in import duties on finished steel products to 15 percent from a range of 7.5 percent to 12.5 percent, citing a threat from Chinese imports and excess global capacity, an internal note reviewed by Reuters showed.

The steel ministry has proposed the higher duties as part of its recommendations to the finance ministry for the upcoming 2019-20 budget that is due out on 5 July.

“The U.S.-China trade war is threatening Indian markets as China looks for alternative markets” for its steel exports, India’s steel ministry said.

Citing the vulnerability of local mills, the ministry said the nation’s steel sector needs “protection from unfairly traded cheap steel imports” as well as lower input costs.

Union Budget 2019 Steel ministry seeks higher import duties on finished products to deter Chinese imports

Representational image. Reuters.

“Peak rates (for all steel products) may be raised to 25 percent to meet any contingency arising from potential adverse global market turmoil,” it said.

Existing anti-dumping and countervailing duties have been rendered ineffective by the volatility in steel prices, the ministry said.

The steel ministry said government revenues could increase by 13.66 billion rupees ($196.1 million) if the import duties were implemented, although it is the finance ministry that makes the final decision.

The steel and finance ministries did not immediately reply to Reuters emails seeking comment.

India turned from net exporter to net importer of steel during the 2018/19 fiscal year as local demand increased and imports jumped from Japan, Korea and China.

Japan, South Korea and member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which all have free trade agreements on steel with India, accounted for 58 percent of its imports of the alloy, while 18 percent of its incoming steel came from China.

Reuters previously reported that India feared Chinese steel flooding its markets as fallout from Beijing’s escalating trade war with Washington.

Over 50 percent of India’s imports of wire rods and bars - both long steel products used in construction - came from China last year, government data showed.

India’s top four steelmakers - JSW Steel Ltd, Tata Steel Ltd, state-owned Steel Authority of India Ltd and Jindal Steel and Power Ltd - together control over 45 percent of India’s total steel production. The producers have been complaining about steel being dumped into India for the last several months.

India’s steel ministry has also sought cuts to import duties on coking coal, steel scrap and graphite electrodes to reduce raw material costs for making steel.

Follow full coverage of Union Budget 2019-20 here

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Parliament Updates: LS adjourned till 3 pm tomorrow; House passes bill reducing MPs' salaries, amended Essential Commodities Bill
Politics

Parliament Updates: LS adjourned till 3 pm tomorrow; House passes bill reducing MPs' salaries, amended Essential Commodities Bill

Parliament Updates: The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, has been passed in the Lok Sabha, by voice vote. The House has been adjourned until 3 pm on 16 September, 2020

Day 1 of Monsoon Session sees Question Hour scrapped amid Opposition fury, Rajya Sabha deputy chairman re-elected
Politics

Day 1 of Monsoon Session sees Question Hour scrapped amid Opposition fury, Rajya Sabha deputy chairman re-elected

The Opposition alleged that the Centre was trying to throttle democracy by doing away with the Question Hour, which it called the "Golden Hour" of the House

Parliament Updates: Lok Sabha passes Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020 by voice vote
India

Parliament Updates: Lok Sabha passes Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020 by voice vote

Parliament LIVE Updates: The Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020 by voice vote after a detailed debate.