New Delhi, December 2 Russia is amongst the top four exporters of finished steel to India registering an over 333 per cent rise for the April–October FY23 to 0.15 million tonnes (mt), as per a report by the Steel Ministry.

Imports from the country in the corresponding period last fiscal were 0.034 mt.

Discounted offerings, distress sale by mills there and lower price compared to offerings within India and from other importing nations saw imports rise. Trade sources said this is among the highest imports than have come into the country over the last few years.

India’s steel imports for April-October rose 14.5 per cent to 3.1 mt, with India turning net importer of steel for October – the second time this fiscal, after July. Imports were valued at ₹35,711 crore ($4518 million).

Russia accounts for just 5 per cent of the imports by India, as per the Ministry data accessed by businessline. Around 0.96 mt of hot rolled coils / strips and 0.44 mt of flat sheers were the major items that came in.

According to a senior official of JSW Steel, price offers have stabilised and imports are expected to even out this quarter. “We don’t see too much of imports coming in since the viability of the international market and supply at low prices is very limited,” the official said.

Volume-wise, HR Coil/Strip (1.015 mt) was the item most imported (32 per cent share in total finished steel).

Other exporting countries

Korea was the largest exporter to India in volume terms accounting for 41 per cent of the import share. Nearly 1.3 mt of finished steel came in and rose by 10 per cent YoY.

Other major nations include China (0.75 mt) accounting for 24 per cent of the share; Japan (0.38 mt) at 12 per cent; and Indonesia (0.13 mt) or 4 per cent of the share. Exports from China rose 53 per cent Y-o-Y and from Indonesia was by 17 per cent, respectively. Shipments from Japan dropped 10 per cent-odd.

“October has been one of the worst months in terms of export orders. There were practically not many because of high price and poor demand. Accordingly, exports dropped 55 per cent during the month. On the other hand, imports rose in the downstream segment that include coated offerings,” official of an Indian steel company said.

India did away with its export duty on steel and steel making products earlier in November.

In terms of port-wise break-up, most of the imports came in from the Mumbai sea at 1mt (up 22 per cent YoY), followed by Chennai sea at 0.7 mt (up 32 per cent) and Mundra at 0.6 mt (up 22 per cent). Shipments through Kandla dropped by 35 per cent, the Ministry data show.