New Delhi: A slew of measures adopted by the government helped steel exports grow by 52.9% to 7.6 million tonnes during April–December 2017, the Economic Survey said on Monday.
The survey, tabled by finance minister Arun Jaitley in Parliament on Monday, also noted that in the backdrop of a slowing world economy and over-capacity of steel production, India has been witnessing rise in imports of cheap steel from countries like China, South Korea and Ukraine at low prices since early 2014-15.
“This dumping of cheaper steel imports adversely affected domestic producers. In order to address this, apart from raising customs duty and imposition of anti-dumping duty, minimum import price (MIP) on a number of items was introduced in February 2016 with a sunset clause of one year," the Economic Survey 2017-18 said.
These measures helped the domestic producers and exports recover since February 2016 until March 2017. However, exports started declining again, it added.
“Global trends of steel prices post June 2017 along with measures undertaken by the government led to a rise in exports of steel for the period April–December 2017 by 52.9% while imports have risen by only 10.9%," the document said.
According to Joint Plant Committee (JPC), during April-December of 2017-8, the export of finished steel increased 52.9% to 7.606 million tonnes, from 4.975 million tonnes in the year-ago period.
The government notified anti-dumping duties and countervailing duties on various steel products in February 2017.
“Anti-dumping duties were imposed on import of seamless tubes, pipes and hollow profiles of iron, alloy or non-alloy steel originating and exported from China.
The government also imposed anti-dumping duty on HR (hot rolled) coils, HR Plates, CR (cold rolled) Products, wire rod and color coated steel," it said.
The government levied countervailing duty on imports of cold rolled flat products of stainless steel of all grades/series from China, Korea, European Union, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand and the US, the survey added.
At the same time, significant cutback in China’s production capacity of steel has led to rising international prices of steel, especially post June 2017.
Further to boost and support the sector, the government rolled out a New Steel Policy in May 2017. Besides, it also launched a policy on preference to domestically manufactured select iron and steel products has been enforced also since May 2017, it said.