The Directorate General of Foreign Trade has extended the minimum import price (MIP) on 66 steel products till October 4. The MIP ranges between $341-752 per tonne.

MIP was earlier levied on 173 steel products for a duration of 5 months. According to a steel ministry official, the extension of the MIP now provides enough time for investigations for an anti-dumping duty to be completed.

The steel industry had been demanding for the extension of the MIP.

Asked why the Government has reduced the number of products, an official said, “We felt that only these 66 products require protection. The commerce ministry is already investigating dumping of certain steel products.”

The 66 products include semi-finished products of iron or non-alloyed steel, flat-rolled products of different widths, bars and rods.

To guard domestic steel producers against cheap in-bound shipments, the government in February had imposed MIP, ranging between USD 341 to USD 752 per tonne, on 173 steel products for a period of six months.

On ingots and billets, blooms and slabs, the MIP reads USD 362, USD 352 and USD 341 per tonne, respectively.

On flat-rolled products of iron or non-alloy steel of a width of 600 mm or more, clad plated or coated, the minimum prices will be USD 643 and USD 752 per tonne on different items.

Similarly, bars and rods, hot-rolled in irregularly wound coils of iron or non-alloy steel, the figure stood at USD 449 per tonne and USD 451 per tonne on different products.

Earlier, the minimum import price was imposed for a period six months.

India’s imports of non-alloy steel rose 29.6 per cent between April-December 2015 to 6.34 million tonne. Its total consumption of non-alloy steel stands at 53.166 million tonne.

Indian Steel Association has asked the government to extend minimum import price (MIP) on steel products, saying its imposition has marginally improved the industry’s viability after a long period of subdued prices.

Accelerating imports of predatory prices from steel surplus countries like China, Japan and Korea has been a major concern area for the domestic industry since September 2014.

Post the imposition of MIP in February, the industry has been able to marginally improve viability after a long period of subdued prices and eroded profit margins, the association had said.