Engineering exporters' body EEPC India on Monday sought urgent government intervention to stem the runaway rise in steel prices, a key raw material for manufacturing. "With a whopping 55 per cent rise in prices of steel, the mother raw material for manufacturing, the path to Atmanirbhar Bharat has become very tough and arduous," EEPC India said, seeking urgent intervention of the government on the issue.
It said the wholesale price of Hot Rolled Coil (HRC) has gone up to Rs 58,000 a tonne -- an unbearable increase of 55 per cent between January 2020 and January 2021. "The engineering exporters, who account for more than one-fourth of the country's total merchandise exports, and comprise mostly the MSMEs, are battling the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on global trade," EEPC India Chairman Mahesh Desai said.
He said for the April-November period of the current fiscal, the engineering exports fell by 13.24 per cent to $43.9 billion from $50.5 billion during the same period of the previous financial year. As many as 29 out of 33 engineering panels exhibited a year-on-year decline in exports.
Likewise, only five out of top 25 countries recorded positive cumulative growth in engineering exports during April-November 2020 over April-November 2019. "Under these circumstances, an unprecedented increase in steel prices is making the situation for the engineering industry unbearable, hitting exports the most," Desai said.