To protect domestic industries from cheap imports, the government has extended the minimum import price (MIP) on 66 steel products for a period of two months as against 173 items earlier.
The MIP ranges between USD 341-752 per tonne.
“MIP for 66 (steel products) is extended till October 4 this year,” Director General of Foreign Trade Anup Wadhawan said in a notification yesterday.
The steel industry had been demanding for extension of the MIP.
When asked why the government has reduced the number of products, an official said: “We felt that only these 66 products require protection. The commerce ministry is already investigating dumping of certain steel products.”
The 66 products include semi-finished products of iron or non-alloyed steel, flat-rolled products of different widths, bars and rods.
To guard domestic steel producers against cheap in-bound shipments, the government in February had imposed MIP, ranging between USD 341-752 per tonne, on 173 steel products for a period of six months.
On ingots and billets, blooms and slabs, the MIP reads USD 362, USD 352 and USD 341 per tonne, respectively.
On flat-rolled products of iron or non-alloy steel of a width of 600 mm or more, clad plated or coated, the minimum prices will be USD 643 and USD 752 per tonne on different items.
Similarly, bars and rods, hot-rolled in irregularly wound coils of iron or non-alloy steel, the figure stood at USD 449 per tonne and USD 451 per tonne on different products.
Prior to February also, the MIP was imposed for a period of six months.
India’s imports of non-alloy steel rose 29.6 per cent between April-December 2015 to 6.34 million tonne. Its total consumption of non-alloy steel stands at 53.166 million tonne.
Indian Steel Association has asked the government to extend MIP on steel products, saying its imposition has marginally improved the industry’s viability after a long period of subdued prices.
Accelerating imports of predatory prices from steel surplus countries like China, Japan and Korea has been a major concern for the domestic industry since September 2014.
Post the imposition of MIP in February, the industry has been able to marginally improve viability after a long period of subdued prices and eroded profit margins, the association had said.