Economy

Indian steel exports in May drop to the lowest in 3 years: Govt data

Reuters NEW DELHI | Updated on June 26, 2019 Published on June 26, 2019

Exports to Europe takes a hit, down 28 per cent

India's finished steel exports in May fell to their lowest in three years as shipments to traditional markets in the European Union (EU) and Nepal shrank, preliminary government data reviewed by Reuters showed.

India exported 3,19,000 tonnes of finished steel in May, down 28 per cent from the same month last year, and the lowest level since April 2016, the data showed. Steel exports to the EU dropped 55 per cent in May, led by fewer shipments to Italy, Belgium and Spain, which together made up about 80 per cent of India's overall exports to the region.

Also read: Steel firms move Trade Remedy DG seeking 25%  safeguard duty on imports

That comes amid ‘safeguard’ measures by the EU that are designed to limit incoming steel and prevent a surge of imports as a result of Washington’s 25 per cent import tariffs, which have effectively closed the US market.

Indian exports to Italy slumped 65 per cent to 23,000 tonnes, according to the data. Exports to Spain fell 41 per cent to 13,000 tonnes, while shipments to Belgium were down 42 per cent at 25,000 tonnes. India, which typically ships cold-rolled coil, galvanized steel and some long products such as bars and rods to the EU, saw a decline in these shipments by as much as 30 per cent.

Meanwhile, India's exports to Nepal, the top destination last year, were down 22 per cent at 63,000 tonnes. Shipments were also substantially lower to Malaysia and Sri Lanka, which were among the top 10 export destinations last year.

Also read: Exports grow 3.9 per cent in May; trade deficit widens to $15.3 billion

Exports of steel plate, which is one of the flat products that comprise most of India's steel exports, fell 60 per cent to 14,000 tonnes, the data showed. Shipments of pipes, which are typically the main steel product exported to the United States, dropped 97 per cent to 2,000 tonnes.

Overall, India's finished steel exports were down 30 per cent during April-May and the country remained a net importer. Hit by low exports and facing higher imports, India's Steel Ministry has been pushing for higher import duties.

Published on June 26, 2019
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