NEW DELHI: There’s a feel-good story emerging out of India vis-a-vis the steel sector. A recent policy document showed a rise in steel exports in 2017, while a freshly released World Steel Association (WSA) report recorded a growth in crude steel production last year.
The Economic Survey 2017-18, a document released just prior to the union budget in India, has said a mix of policy inputs for local steel, the rise in global steel prices and a slew of efforts by the Indian Government to protect the domestic steel market from cheap imports had all helped in raising steel exports from India to an “unprecedented” 53% rise during the April-December 2017, during which output rose to 7.6 million tonnes (MT).
The WSA report noted world steel production touched 1,691.2 MT for 2017, up by 5.3% compared to the 2016 output of 1,606.3 MT, which sector analysts say is good news.
Specifically, India overtook the U.S. to become the world’s third-largest steel producer.
Back up a few years and India was looking at surplus steel production capacity and the flooding of the market with cheap steel from countries such as China and South Korea.
After some loud complaints by local steel bodies and producers, the Indian Government raised customs duty and imposed anti-dumping duty. The Minimum Import Price (MIP) was introduced in February 2016, and all these measures had ensured the recovery by domestic producers, the Economic Survey said.
In between, somewhere in 2016-17, exports started dipping again, and the Government then notified anti-dumping duties and countervailing duties on various steel products in February 2017. This included imposition of anti-dumping duties on imports of seamless tubes, pipes and hollow profiles of iron, alloy or non-alloy steel originating and exported from China. Similar duties were slapped on hot-rolled coils (HRC), HR plates, cold-rolled (CR) products, wire rods and color coated steel. The Government also levied countervailing duty on imports of stainless steel cold rolled flat products of all grades/series from China, Korea, the European Union, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand and the U.S.