SMM6, March 26: according to local media reports in India, domestic stainless steel manufacturers have written to the government seeking to reduce import tariffs on their key raw materials to increase production before formulating the federal budget for fiscal year 2019-2020.
In a document submitted to the government, India's top stainless steel industry body, the Indian stainless Steel Development Association, said that at present, the import tariff on ferronickel and stainless steel waste is 2.5% each and must be imported because these raw materials are not yet available in India, but this will increase the total cost of stainless steel production.
K K Pahuja, president of ISSDA, said that due to the high cost burden, the industry is at an inflection point and is now in trouble, making products uncompetitive. We urge governments not to use raw material taxes as a source of income or, more specifically, to consider a greater vision for faster manufacturing growth and job creation. He added that reducing the basic tariffs on ferronickel and stainless steel waste would be able to make up for the increase in domestic production.
Despite the challenges facing global trade, Pahuja noted that India remains the second largest producer and consumer of stainless steel. In industrial applications, demand for stainless steel has increased by 89%, but domestic industries have been affected by the twin challenges of excessive dumping in other major stainless steel producers, such as Indonesia, and lack of access to key raw materials. In addition, capacity utilization in India's stainless steel industry has stagnated at about 70 per cent because of high raw material prices, cheap imports account for market share and undermine the competitiveness of domestic companies.
In the face of a trade war and a new wave of global protectionism, major steelmakers have applied for safeguards against the threat of cheap imports. Zero tariffs on key raw materials will also help implement the "made in India" programme, ISSDA said.