The government has imposed a special anti-dumping duty on import of cold-rolled flat stainless steel products, shielding some domestic producers from the threat of cheaper imports, while pushing up costs for several consumers.
The levy, called the provisional special duty and ranging from $12.74 per metric tonne to $2011 per metric tonne (depending on the type of steel, country of manufacture, origin of import and producer) will make imports from the US, European Union, China, Thailand, Korea, South Africa, Chinese Taipei and Japan dearer. While the levy will help stainless steelmakers Jindal Stainless and SAIL, a raft of users straddling sectors as diverse as automobiles to refineries to utensils and kitchen equipment makers will be hit by costlier imports.
The anti-dumping duty will remain in force till October 21 this year, but could be reviewed and extended further. The duty will hit companies such as ArcelorMittal, Acrinox, Outokumpu, Columbus, Posco, Daewoo International Corporation, Hyundai Corporation and LG International, which sell stainless steel manufactured abroad in the Indian market.
The Central Board of Excise and Customs, an apex body for indirect taxes that typically levies such duties upon receiving evidence of dumping, has notified the duty. Dumping normally involves exports of a product or a commodity from a country at a price lower than what it is sold locally and which causes injury to local producers of the importing country. The notification follows a recommendation by the Directorate General of Anti-dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD), which said the domestic industry had suffered “material injury” as a result of dumping.
“As the largest producer of stainless steel in the country, the dumping of stainless steel affected us the most…We hope the measure will improve the capacity utilisation of domestic companies and improve availability of steel in the market,” Jindal Stainless director NC Mathur said.
However, users of high grade stainless steel represented by All India Stainless Steel Industries Association, Pesticides Manufacturers and Formulators Association of India and Process Plant and Machinery Association of India have demanded the rollback of the duty saying it would impact their operations.
The anti-dumping investigations started last November following a petition by Jindal Stainless. Stainless steel imports rose to 16,000 tonne that month, up 60% year-on-year. During the financial year to end-March 2009, import of alloy steel, which include alloy steel, rose to 5.75 lakh tonne from 4.48 lakh tonne in the previous fiscal year.
Source: The Economic Times 24/04/09