Delhi stainless assn calls on India’s prime minister to protect industry

Delhi Stainless Steel Trade Assn has called on India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, to impose urgent duty measures on imports to support the domestic stainless steel industry.

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In a letter to Modi – following a surge in stainless steel imports into India – the assn called on Modi to take two recommendations made by the assn into serious consideration in the fiscal year 2015-2016 budget.

The trade body, which represents small-scale operations in the capital region of Delhi, called for a zero customs duty on nickel and melting scrap “as the industry does not have domestic availability of these crucial raw materials”, it said on Tuesday November 25., . 

It also asked the prime minister to raise the customs duty on finished stainless flat products to 15%.

Nickel, steel scrap and stainless steel scrap currently command a 2.5% customs duty in India, while the import duty on flat-rolled stainless steel was increased from 5% to 7.5% in the 2014-2015 budget announced in July this year. 
However, low-priced imports, particularly from China, have seen capacity utilisation in the Indian stainless steel industry fall to 50%, resulting in “huge” revenue and job losses domestically, according to the Delhi assn.

It said that China Now accounts for more than half of all global stainless steel production – up from 5% in 2004 – as a a result of its zero duty on most basic raw materials needed to produce stainless steel. China also has a 10% customs duty on finished products, protecting its own domestic industry.

The Indian government has already taken some steps to support local stainless steelmakers, as it launched a safeguarding investigation into imports of 400-series stainless cold rolled flat steel products in September.

India’s stainless meltshop production reached 2.403 million tonnes in 2013, according to the International Stainless Steel Forum.