Apex industry body ASSOCHAM has urged the government to extend anti-dumping duty to imports of stainless steel flat products from China in all grades, widths, shapes and sizes including the hot rolled stainless steel flat products and stainless steel circles due to a whopping 690 per cent increase in imports of stainless steel flat products from China between 2009-10 and first half (H1) of 2013-14.
“Widespread dumping of stainless steel flat products largely from China along with European Union, Korea, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand and United States of America (USA) are hampering the growth of domestic stainless steel industry,” highlighted The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) in a communication addressed to the Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Mr Anand Sharma.
“Existence of huge surplus capacities of stainless steel flat products in China coupled with numerous governmental benefits provided to the steel industry encourage the Chinese manufacturers to dump their products into India through circumvention of anti-dumping duties,” said ASSOCHAM. “Large-scale circumvention of anti-dumping duties has led to
rapid rise in imports of cold rolled stainless steel flat products as currently there is no duty below 600 millimeters (mm) and above 1,250 mm and imports are coming in these widths as they are outside the range of anti-dumping duty.”
Besides, large scale circumvention of anti-dumping duty is also happening through import of stainless steel flat products in other shapes like stainless steel circles despite domestic stainless steel industry having both the capability and capacity to supply cold rolled stainless steel flat products in complete width range of 0-1,650 mm and also producing/supplying stainless steel flat products in this complete width range, highlighted the ASSOCHAM letter.
“The sanctity and rationale of anti-dumping duty have been completely nullified because of imports outside width range of 600 mm-1,250 mm,” said ASSOCHAM. “Had that not been the case, imports would not have gone up so sharply despite the imposition of anti-dumping duties.”
In its letter, the ASSOCHAM has also shared its concerns about other modes of circumvention like mis-declaring cold rolled flat products as hot rolled flat products, mis-declaration of country of origin and others by the unscrupulous importers.
India is world’s fourth largest producer and third largest consumer of stainless steel and is likely to maintain this momentum during the course of next five-six years and the domestic stainless steel market is expected to register double digit growth.
Besides, Indian stainless steel producers have put-in massive investments towards modernization and capacity enhancement to cater to this growing market especially in the flat products segment that accounts for over 70 per cent of the overall stainless steel market.
“However, these investments are in jeopardy due to widespread dumping of stainless steel flat products from the aforesaid countries,” said ASSOCHAM while sharing its concerns.