Steel exports doubled to 8.2 million tonnes (MT) and imports slashed by about one-third in 2016-17 on account of a slew of steps to safeguard domestic steel sector from onslaught of cheap imports especially from China, the Economic Survey said today. The rise in exports of steel may also wipe away the excess capacity built up in the steel sector, the part II of the Survey tabled in Parliament said. "These steps (to safeguard industry) taken by the government have borne fruit.
During 2016-17 imports of steel have declined, while exports of steel have doubled," the mid- term Survey said. Alloy imports dipped by 36.6 per cent to 7.4 MT in 2016- 17 as against 11.7 MT in the previous fiscal while exports doubled to 8.2 MT last fiscal over 4.1 MT in the corresponding year. "It is interesting to note that Indian exports of steel have been growing amidst a stable exchange rate of the rupee. The rise in exports of steel may also wipe away the excess capacity built up in the steel sector," the Survey said. Due to rise in demand for steel globally and slowdown in imports, domestic production of steel has risen by 11 per cent after accounting for the possible excess capacity in the sector, it said. The domestic production of total finished steel in 2016- 17 has been 101.3 MT as compared to 91 MT in 2015-16. Against the backdrop of China's recent economic slowdown, the global steel industry has faced major distress due to decline in global demand, including China's demand for steel, the survey said. In addition, excess capacity in steel production led to dumping of steel by China, South Korea and Ukraine into Indian markets at low prices, it said. "In response to this, the government in 2016, introduced a host of measures like raising Basic Customs Duty, imposition of Minimum Import Price (MIP) and anti-dumping duties in order to shield the domestic producers," the Survey said. The government notified the MIP of steel in February 2016 for a period of one year. On April 12, 2016, India initiated countervailing duty investigation concerning imports of certain hot rolled and cold rolled stainless steel flat products, originating in China. The steel sector is one of the core industries in the economy. India is the at present the third largest producer of Steel in the world.
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