The imposition of anti-dumping duty on low-ash metallurgical coke by up to $25.2 per tonne, with effect from November 25 for five years, may push costs by R700-R1,100 per tonne for domestic steelmakers. However, the current anaemic steel demand might prevent companies like Tata Steel and JSW Steel from passing on the additional burden to the customers.
The commerce ministry had in December last year initiated probe on the scope of levying anti-dumping duty following petitions filed by domestic met coke producers such as Gujarat NRE Coke and others, who alleged that countries such as China and Australia were dumping the raw material into India at a price below their cost of production and thus, causing serious injury to the Indian firms.
In a notification, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) said dumping of met coke at predatory prices from China and Australia “significantly increased” from 2011-12 and it was causing “material injury” to the domestic
The authority has imposed $25.2 per tonne anti-dumping duty for imports from China and $16.29 per tonne from Australia. For all other countries, the duty remains at $16.29 a tonne. Met coke is used for smelting iron ore in the blast furnace. Around 0.7 tonne of coke is required to produce one tonne of steel.
India imported 3.3 MT coke in 2014-15, up from 2.36 MT in 2011-12. The domestic steel industry had earlier petitioned to the government not to impose anti-dumping duty on the raw material as it would erode their competitiveness. They, on the other hand, were demanding bringing import duty on met coke to zero from 5% now.
The price of met coke has been on the rise in recent times as a result of higher demand from China. The price of the raw material has risen from $120 per tonne in January to a little over $300 per tonne now.