Steelmakers upset as S Korea, Japan eat local mkt share

Steelmakers upset  as  S Korea, Japan eat local mkt share

India could raise steel tariffs further to check a surge of imports, a minister said on Friday, but local steel firms are concerned that free trade agreements with Japan and South Korea would still let those countries boost shipments.

Amid a global glut, steel imports jumped 72 per cent in the last fiscal year to March to 9.3 million tonnes. South Korea and Japan together sent 3.5 million. Imports in April and May, the first two months of the new fiscal year, rose 55 per cent to 1.67 million tonnes. But shipments from Japan soared 111 per cent and those from South Korea 51 per cent.

Heavy industries minister Anant Geete said he would meet finance ministry officials within a week to discuss more measures to “safeguard” the local industry and check the quality of imported steel, after companies complained recent duty increases of up to 2.5 percentage points were inadequate.

Further dismaying local firms such as JSW and Kalyani Steels, this week India extended a deal to provide high-grade iron ore to Japan and South Korea as part of bilateral ties.

US starts inquiry

The US government has initiated investigations to determine whether to impose anti-dumping and countervailing duties on import of corrosion-resistant steel products from India and four other countries.

“The US Department of Commerce announced initiation of AD and CVD investigations on imports of corrosion-resistant steel products from India, China, Italy, Korea and Taiwan,” a US Department of Commerce official said.

The investigations have been opened after six major US steel producers on June 3 filed AD and CVD petitions charging unfairly traded imports of corrosion-resistant steel from these countries, he added.

According to US Steel Corp, Nucor Corp, Steel Dynamics, ArcelorMittal USA, AK Steel Corp and California Steel Industries these imports are causing material injury to the US domestic industry and that significant subsidies have been provided to producers by the governments of those countries.

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