To check cheap imports, state-owned Steel Authority of India (SAIL) has urged the government to
continue with the minimum import price (MIP) on steel till measures like anti-dumping duty are not put in place. In a recent meeting with new steel minister Chaudhary Birender Singh, the company, which reported a net loss of Rs 4,137 crore in FY16, said continuation of the trade barrier was required as “global markets are highly volatile and threat of cheap import persists”. Steel imports to India increased to 12.7 MT, at an average of over 1 MT a month, in 2015-16 from 10.2 MT in 2014-15 and 5.7 MT in 2013-14. China, Japan and Korea accounted for ¾th of total steel imports last fiscal.
Tata Steel, JSPL and others have already stressed the need for continuation of the MIP. The steel ministry, however, hopes that anti-dumping duty on both HR Coil and CR Coil would be imposed before scheduled expiry of MIP is due on August 4. Concerned over the 123% rise in imports in 2015-16 over 2013-14, the government had on February 5 imposed MIP for six months on 173 products in the range of $341 to $752 per tonne. SAIL is concerned because its net sales realisation (NSR) has started declining again from June after a temporary blip from the decadal low of Rs24,403 per tonne in December last
SAIL’s NSR was on the rise from January this year till May at Rs 29,590 a tonne. However, it has started falling since then to Rs28,122 per tonne in June and further to around Rs27,088/ tonne now, the company said in the presentation. The company has lower per tonne NSR in the first three months of the current fiscal at Rs29,428, Rs29,590 and Rs28,112 respectively compared with Rs31,515, Rs30,682 and Rs29,802 respectively, in the first three months of 2015-16.
SAIL reported Rs4,137-crore loss in 2015-16, its first in 13 years. The average NSR for the company in the last fiscal was at Rs28,150 per tonne, down from Rs35,341 a tonne in the 2014-15 fiscal.