Amid growing concerns regarding a notable upswing in the influx of Chinese steel imports, the Indian Steel Association (ISA) is gearing up to engage with the government to address and rectify perceived trade disparities. Alok Sahay, serving as the Secretary-General of the association representing Indian steel producers, has underscored the imperative need for systematic adjustments that can effectively counteract trade imbalances.
Sahay emphasized the noteworthy time required for trade measures in India, a minimum of 15 months, due to the existence of lesser duty rules. This situation, he noted, renders India particularly vulnerable to trade distortions that can significantly impact the steel sector’s dynamics. The ISA’s data has revealed an alarming 63% surge in Chinese steel imports into India during the April-July period of FY24, compared to the same interval in the previous year. However, imports from Korea have witnessed a modest 4% decline over the same comparative period.
Jayant Acharya, Chief Executive Officer of JSW Steel, highlighted a divergence in global steel production trends. While steel production on a global scale exhibited moderation, China’s steel production demonstrated an impressive 2.5% increase during the initial seven months of the year 2023. Acharya also pointed out that China’s augmented steel exports, driven by weakened domestic demand, were exerting notable influence on global markets. Consequently, this trend was impinging upon Indian steel prices, causing tangible repercussions.
Businesses in India have indicated that the influx of Chinese imports is notably influencing prices, as exemplified by the downward trend in the average monthly price of hot-rolled coil (HRC) in Mumbai. This underscores a growing challenge for the Indian steel industry.
In response to these emerging concerns, Indian steel industry stakeholders are seeking measures to counter the surging influx of Chinese steel imports and subsequently shield their investments. These measures are crucial for preserving a competitive and stable environment for the domestic steel sector.