SMM2, 22 March: last week, MetalMiner reported on the challenges faced by Indian steel companies in falling import prices, as well as their desire for the Indian government to impose import duties.
In the continuing trade war between the US and China, India has dumped aluminium products not only on China, but also on countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia and Japan, which have signed free trade agreements with India.
(Business Standard), a business standards newspaper, recently quoted Anil Agarwal of (aluminum Secondary Manufacturers Association), a secondary aluminium manufacturers association, as saying that imports of finished aluminium products from India had reduced the profit margins of small and medium-sized enterprises by 7 per cent.
It is estimated that such imports increased by more than 50 per cent compared with the same period last year, leaving the operation of small and medium-sized enterprises in trouble. India's aluminium imports rose 24 per cent from April to October 2018 from a year earlier.
In addition, low prices and rising production costs have made life difficult for the domestic aluminum industry. Production costs, for example, have risen by 30 per cent in the past four years or so.
Like steelmakers, primary and secondary aluminium producers have been asking the Indian government to raise import tariffs on primary and secondary aluminium to 10 per cent from the current 7.5 per cent.
According to Business Standards, there are about 3500 MSME participants in India's domestic aluminium industry, while three major producers are hindalco Industries, Vedanta and (Nalco), the state-owned national aluminium company.
Imports of waste aluminium have also risen sharply. Although imports of aluminium waste are subject to an import duty of 2.5 per cent, imports have increased by about 27 per cent, according to industry estimates.
Indian producers lament that they cannot compete with countries such as China.
The latter was able to produce aluminium at a lower price because it followed the price of (Shanghai Metal Exchange), on the Shanghai Metal Exchange by $250,300 a tonne lower than the London Metal Exchange (London Metal Exchange).
India has set a target of producing 10 million tons of aluminium by 2030, up from the current 3.4 million tons.
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