How curb on cheap imports helps domestic steel price

With regard to Iron and steel, total export and import values reached around $ 342 bn and $271 bn respectively in 2016. It may be noted that India’s share in total steel exports in the world market has gone up from 1.1% in 2000 to 2.8% in 2016. During this period China’s share in total steel exports has risen from 3.7% in 2000 to as high as 19.2% in 2016. Japan’s share in total steel exports in 2000 which was 12.2% has since come down to 9.1% in 2016.

Our steel export share in last year is lower than that of South Korea, Russia, USA, Brazil, Ukraine and Chinese Taipei. India’s share in total steel imports has moved up from 0.7% in 2000 to 3.2% in 2016.

Correspondingly, US share in total steel imports which was 17.0% in 2000 has since come down to 12.1% last year. South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Mexico and Turkey have imported more steel than India in 2016 other than USA and China. The approximate values of steel exports from India have reached around $9.4 bn in 2016 and value of steel imports reached around $11.7 bn in the same year. Expectedly, India has performed well in exports of automotive products and exports of computer services. In the former, India has exported $13.8 bn worth of automotive products. In the latter, India exported $ 52.7 bn worth of computer services in 2016 thereby occupying 17.8% share in the global exports of this category.

The report has also commented on the recent surge in trade protecting measures and the decline in merchandise trade is slated to be an offshoot of these measures. The restrictions on low priced imports of steel and spate of trade restrictive measures like anti-dumping, minimum import price and safeguard duties have helped domestic steel prices to move up since later half on 2016 and steel producers in almost all countries have been benefited by this development. This new age of protectionism has an additional benefit. It has made steel export thrusts as one of the major areas of focus for the next few years.

While steel export thrusts is quite in sync with the current scenario and India’s recent experience of being a net steel exporter is fully aligned with its efforts of augmentation of steel capacities, the spate of protectionism in the major consumption markets in US, EU and South East Asian countries would pose a stiff challenge to Indian steel exporters. Two factors appear to be favourable for steel exports. Chinese exports of HR Coils SS400 has recently crossed $500 per tonne FOB price and US steel imports in H1 of 2017 at 19.6 MT happens to be 25% more as compared to the level in the previous year.

Source-financial express

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