India Sees Surge in Steel Imports from China, Sets Three-Year High Overall
India witnessed a significant increase in its purchases of finished steel from China, reaching a six-year high in the first two months of the fiscal year beginning in April, as per provisional government data examined by Reuters. Moreover, India’s overall steel imports hit a three-year high during this period.
China emerged as the second-largest steel exporter to India in April and May, selling 0.2 million metric tons of the alloy, marking a 62% surge compared to the same period the previous year. Imports from China constituted a quarter of India’s total finished steel imports during this timeframe.
The data revealed that India imported 0.9 million metric tons of finished steel in April and May, the highest amount since 2021 and a 27% increase from the previous year.
China primarily exported cold-rolled coil or sheets to India, which accounted for a significant portion of India’s imports during April and May, representing a 30% share of overall finished steel imports.
Analysts predict that China, being the world’s largest steel producer, is poised to export the most steel this year since 2016. The weakening yuan and competitive pricing have enabled the country to offload surplus metal due to weak domestic demand.
In response to the surge in imports from China, India’s federal steel ministry has been considering imposing a countervailing duty on steel imports from China, according to Vivek Johri, chairman of the board of indirect taxes and customs, who made the announcement last month.
During the April-May period, South Korea stood as the top exporter of finished steel to India, shipping out 0.4 million metric tons and accounting for 38% of India’s total imports. However, India, being the world’s second-largest crude steel producer, became a net exporter of finished steel during this period, with 1.6 million metric tons sold to key buyers such as Italy, Spain, Belgium, Nepal, and the United Kingdom, as indicated by the data.
Furthermore, India witnessed a surge in finished steel exports to Italy during April-May, reaching their highest level in six years.
India’s crude steel production in April-May amounted to 22.4 million metric tons, a 6% increase from the previous year. Concurrently, the consumption of finished steel reached 20.3 million metric tons, an 8% rise compared to the previous year and the highest level in six years.