The investigation initiated by the Centre in connection with the cheap imports of low-ash metallurgical coke is likely to bring back the confidence of domestic producers, who have been competing with low-cost imports from China and Australia for the past few years.

Gujarat NRE Coke Ltd, one of the country’s largest met coke players, said the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry had initiated begun probe into the issue.

Indian Metallurgical Coke Manufacturers Association (IMCOM), an umbrella body representing Saurashtra Fuels, Gujarat NRE Coke Ltd, Carbon Edge Industries Ltd, Bhatia Coke and Energy Ltd and Basudha Udyog Pvt Ltd had filed an application for initiation of anti-dumping investigation and imposition of anti-dumping duty on imports of low ash metallurgical coke originating in or exported from Australia and China.

The association believes the imposition of anti-dumping duty can become a life-saver for the embattled domestic industry, a Gujarat NRE Coke statement said.

Expressing the gravity of the situation, the company also said it had received a notice from ICICI Bank, Offshore Banking Unit, regarding allotment of $5 million-worth of the company’s equity against liability towards corporate guarantee. “The board of directors of the company shall discuss and proceed for allotment of equity shares at a minimum price of ₹10 per share after getting requisite approvals in the matter,” it stated.

The domestic metallurgical coke industry has been suffering for the last few years due to dumping of Chinese met coke. The cheap imports have increased exponentially – by over 5 times – in the last few years and is today sold at a price much lower than the cost of production of met coke. “I am confident that with the latest developments we will very soon be able to achieve stability,” said Arun Kumar Jagatramka, CMD, Gujarat NRE Coke.