The domestic stainless steel industry has urged the government to double the import duty on their finished products to 15% and nullify the duty on raw materials not available locally.
Though the government recently re-imposed anti-dumping duties of 4.6-57.39% on certain cold-rolled flat products of stainless steel for five years and in June on specified flat products originating from China, Malaysia and Korea between $108/tonne and $ 316 a tonne, industry sources said imports have remained unabated due to large-scale circumvention. Stainless steel products are not subject to minimum import price announced recently for a large number of steel products.
“Stainless steel industry faces exactly similar danger of what the carbon steel sector does. The stainless steel industry is hit by unwarranted imports into the country. As a result of excessive imports, almost all stainless steel players are under severe financial stress,” said Indian Stainless Steel Development Association (ISSDA) president NC Mathur.
The stainless steel sector’s current woes originate from unwarranted imports from China, Korea and Japan. This has led to rigorous price undercutting in the domestic market. As a result, capacity utilisation of domestic firms, including Jindal Stainless and SAIL, has come down to just half of the installed capacity of 3.5 MT and all major players are under severe financial stress. China alone accounts for 50% of the import basket.
Imports of stainless steel have nearly doubled in the last four years to 2014-15 at 4.59 lakh tonne. Cold rolled flat products of stainless steel constitute nearly 75% of the total imports.