India's Steel Imports Fall for Second Month in December on Taxes

  • Nation imposes import curbs and is mulling further measures
  • Shipments climbed 29 percent in nine months to December

Indian steel imports fell for a second month after the government imposed taxes and anti-dumping duties on some products to protect local mills from cheaper overseas supplies.

Inbound shipments dropped 1.4 percent to 941,000 metric tons in December from a year earlier, according to provisional data from the Steel Ministry. For the nine months through December, imports climbed 29 percent to 8.39 million tons.

India plans to step up safeguards for its debt-laden steelmakers by imposing a minimum price on imports and studying loan restructuring, Steel Secretary Aruna Sundararajan said last month. China, the world’s biggest producer, is facing the slowest growth in a quarter century and its surfeit of steel is driving a surge in exports, forcing governments from India to the U.S. to impose curbs to protect domestic mills.

India’s latest measures include a 20 percent import tax on hot-rolled coils for 200 days imposed in September, and anti-dumping duties on cold-rolled flat products of stainless steel for five years.

Steel output declined 1.4 percent to 7.62 million tons in December from a year earlier, while consumption climbed 1.2 percent to 6.93 million tons, according to the ministry. For the April-December period, production fell 1.4 percent to 68.04 million tons while demand rose 4.7 percent to 59.08 million tons.

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