01 Mar 2019

Indian Steel Ministry suspends implementation of minimum import price on steel

The Steel Ministry has junked a proposal to levy Minimum Import Price on steel as domestic prices of the commodity have recovered.

Steel Minister, Birender Singh, told BusinessLine : “If you see in the last three months there was a 10,000 a tonne to 12,000 a tonne reduction in prices, so there is no situation of prices going up as being said…My personal view is that the general consumer should not feel that there is any pinch. We are very much aware of that.”

Singh said the steel industry has recovered from the situation that had come about over the past three-four years. “I would say that we are on the correct path and if the industry will need more support to be competitive, we are ready for that.”

He also said, “Some of the representations are with us, and a small group of industry people have suggested this to us. I don’t think there is any urgent or immediate need for that. There is no MIP…when there is nothing visible, you can use the word shelved,” he added. Commenting on the firming up of domestic steel prices and the inventory status of Indian steel producers, Managing Director of Tata Steel TV Narendran, said, “Steel inventories went up in November-December. They went up a little bit in January also, but since then things have changed, international prices have gone up by about $50 a tonne in the last few weeks, and so as a consequence, Indian producers are also exporting more. That is helping bring down the inventory in the country.”

Growing demand

“The demand in the country is also growing. I think the auto industry is struggling a little bit. But, the other sectors are growing, the infrastructure spends continue to be quite strong and the rural markets we see are also continuing to pick up steam. So, demand is continuing to improve and this is probably the best time of the year for steel production from January to June…The inventories have already dropped in February and we expect them to drop further in March,” Narendran added.

Source: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/policy/ministry-junks-proposal-for-minimum-import-price-on-steel-as-prices-firm-up/article26411834.ece

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