The finance ministry on Saturday imposed anti-dumping duty for certain stainless steel products imported from China, Malaysia and South Korea, which marks the first decisive move to stem the inflow of such products amid a hue and cry by the domestic steel industry battling sluggish market sentiments and strained margins.
N C Mathur, President Indian Stainless Steel Development Associaton (ISSDA) said the duty on has been imposed on hot rolled (HR) flat products of stainless steel grade with all its variants originating from China at $309 per tonne $316 a tonne from Malaysia and from Korea at $180 a tonne. “Actually it is a move long overdue. We have been struggling to survive. This measure will definitely give some respite to the industry,” Mathur said. The commerce ministry had earlier this year said that the home-grown stainless steel industry has sustained “material injury due to such dumped imports” and that definite measure was required to stop it.
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The duty has been levied for five years, according to the finance ministry statement. Apart from glut of imports from China, stainless steel industry is plagued with imports from countries like Malaysia, Korea and Japan under the Free Trade Agreement. Apart from this ISSDA has also complained to the government on issue of abuse of India–Malaysia comprehensive economic cooperation agreement (CECA).
In this case, stainless steel cold rolled flat products from Malaysia are being imported in India through preferential tariff benefit, the association said in a statement on Saturday. The Indian Stainless Steel Development Associaton had also written to ministry of international trade and industry, Malaysia to probe into the misuse of CECA, according to the statement.
The domestic stainless steel industry has started showing signs of being a sick industry, as excessive imports threatened the huge investments and resulted in underutilization of capacities. The surge in imports can be mainly attributed to China. Many stainless steel players have either approached BIFR (Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction) or are under capital debt resructuring mechanism, the statement claimed.