India may impose anti-dumping duty of up to $185.51 per tonne for five years on certain varieties of Chinese steel with a view to guard domestic players from cheap imports of the commodity from the neighbouring country.
JSW Steel Ltd, Sunflag Iron and Steel Co, Usha Martin, Gerdau Steel India, Vardhman Special Steels and Jayaswal Neco Industries Ltd had jointly filed an application for initiation of the investigations and levying of anti-dumping duties on the steel.
In its anti-dumping investigations, the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) has stated that dumped imports of 'straight length bars and rods of alloy steel' from China have increased in absolute terms during the period of probe (2016-17).
It said that the dumped imports are undercutting the prices of the domestic industry and due to this the domestic industry's profits, return on capital employed and cash profits have declined during 2016-17.
"The authority recommends imposition of anti-dumping duty" on the imports from China "for period of five years," the DGTR has said in a notification.
It has recommended duty in the range of $44.89 per tonne and $185.51 per tonne.
However, it added that no anti-dumping duty shall be payable on imports of forged bars and tool and die steel if their landed value is above $659.91 per tonne.
If the landed value is lower than $659.91 per tonne, then the difference between that value and $659.91 per tonne shall be payable as anti-dumping duty, it added.
While the DGTR, under the commerce ministry, recommends the duty, the final call is being taken by the finance ministry.
Imports of straight length bars and rods of alloy steel from China have increased to 1,80,959 tonnes in 2016-17 from 56,690 tonnes in 2013-14. India's total imports rose to 2,56,004 tonnes in 2016-17 from 1,32,933 tonnes in 2013-14.
The demand of this steel in India too increased to 16,69,653 tonnes in 2016-17 from 15,14,795 tonnes in 2013-14.
Domestic steel manufacturers always flag concerns over the imports from the neighbouring country, with which India has a huge trade deficit.
The trade gap with China has increased to $63.12 billion in 2017-18 from $51.11 billion in the previous financial year.
The DGTR has also stated it recognises that the imposition of anti-dumping duties might affect the price levels of the product in India. However, fair competition in the market will not be impacted by the imposition of these trade remedy measures.
On the contrary, imposition of anti-dumping measures would remove the unfair advantages gained by dumping practices, prevent the decline of the domestic industry and help maintain availability of wider choice to the consumers of these goods, it added.
In general, the purpose of these duties is to eliminate injury caused to the domestic industry by the unfair trade practices of dumping so as to re-establish a situation of open and fair competition in the Indian market, which is in interest of the country.
"Imposition of anti-dumping duties, therefore, would not affect the availability of the product to the consumers," it said.