New Delhi: The government is “keenly watching” the trend in domestic steel prices, even as retail prices in domestic open markets have slumped by as much as 16-19%, a top Steel Ministry official said on Friday.
“The situation is being keenly watched. The steel industry’s cooperation is essential in containing prices. The recent measures will ensure availability of long products through imports as the countervailing duty on them has been reduced to zero,” Steel Ministry Secretary Raghav Sharan Pandey told PTI.
Steel prices in Mandi Gobindgarh (Punjab) markets have fallen during the past seven days with ingot prices falling by Rs 7,600 per tonne amounting to 19%, while prices of Thermo Mechanically Treated (TMT) bars have fallen by Rs 7,000 per tonne, a decline of 16 per cent.
Similarly, prices of angle steel declined by 17% to Rs 7,500 per tonne and those of M S Patra steel fell by 18% to Rs 8,000 per tonne.
“Prices are expected to fall a bit more in the coming days,” Pandey said and added that prices of flat products too have declined in the last few days.
Meanwhile, the country’s inflation jumped to a 42-month high of 7.57% for the week ended April 19 as compared to 7.33% a week ago.
According to official data on inflation released on Friday the index for basic metals, including alloys rose by 1.1% during the week owing to surge in prices of cast iron pipes (51%), basic pig iron and foundry pig iron (8%) aluminium ingots (3%) and steel plates and strips (2%).