Jindal SAW, Essar Steel
and Welspun Corp
have petitioned the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) to impose anti-dumping duty
on imports of submerged arc welded (SAW) pipes from China, after local firms lost a number of tenders to Chinese suppliers.
“The domestic pipe industry
is facing severe under-utilisation of capacity due to lack of orders from the domestic industry.
India has a total of six million tonnes of pipe-making capacity, but the current capacity utilisation has fallen below 35 per cent and the companies
are finding it difficult to stay afloat,” said Vinod Mehta, general secretary, Indian Pipe Manufacturers’ Association.
“With the trade measures against dumping of steel (in place), Chinese companies
are conveniently dumping pipes into the Indian market,” he added. The difference in price between Chinese and domestic supplies is about 20 per cent.
India has imposed a five-year anti-dumping duty
on import of hot rolled and cold rolled flat steel products recently, which has been a major boost for the steel sector. Now, pipe manufacturers, which are facing a similar onslaught of cheap imports, are looking for a similar respite.
What has aggravated the problem for pipe manufacturers is that India was exporting close to 50 per cent of its production to the US, Iran, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Bolivia, etc., but most of these countries have raised trade barriers to contain imports to encourage their domestic industry, thus impacting exports from India.
“With the government’s massive investments in infrastructure in the laying of pipelines, domestic manufacturers are aspiring for some major relief even though the total requirement of pipes for these projects if far less than their combined production capacity,” Mehta said.
The government has come out with a recent notification on a policy for providing preference to domestically manufactured iron and steel products in government procurement. Mehta, however, pointed out that it would not apply to EPC (engineering procurement construction) contracts. “The oil and gas PSUs should be made to restrict the procurement of their requirement for pipes from domestic sources only,” Mehta suggested.
He said the Chinese suppliers were entitled to incentives from the government, enjoyed lower cost of funds and lower logistic cost compared to the Indian counterparts. “The price difference between Indian and foreign suppliers is not very big but they outbid us on the back of export incentives that they get from their country,” he added.