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May 14, 2002 | 1320 IST
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Steel players scale down HR exports by 14%

Ishita Ayan Dutt

Steel majors have scaled down hot rolled exports for the year by around 14 per cent to 1.2 million tonne, following the closure of the United States and Canadian markets.

Anti-dumping duties imposed by the US and a similar action apprehended by Canada have reduced hot rolled exports from India by 20 per cent over the last two years.

Industry sources said, given the present market rate of HR Coils at Rs 14,500-16,000 tonne and plates at Rs 16,000, the loss is substantial.

HR exports from India for this year are estimated to be in the region of 1.2 million, with HR coils /skelp and sheets accounting for 1 million tonne. Plates would account for the balance.

In 2000-01, HR product exports were at 1.5 million tonne and, in 2001-02, they were around 1.4 million tonne. HR exports have been declining ever since the US initiated anti-dumping investigations. Preliminary anti-dumping duty was imposed in November 2000 and the final duty mid-last year.

The Indian steel exports attracted anti-dumping measures when exports peaked during April 1999-March 2000. According to figures provided by the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence & Statistics (DGCIS), the value of exports touched Rs 10.69 billion, where primary steel alone contributed around Rs 10.21 billion.

The antidumping duty was imposed on Steel Authority of India Ltd, Tata Steel, Essar Steel, Jindal Steel and Ispat Industries.

The industry has pegged exports of CR coils / sheets at 250,000 tonne and GP/GC sheets 800,000tonne for this year. The actual CRC/sheets export last year was 200,000 tonne and GP/GC sheets 656,000 tonne.

Likely export of all flat product exports is expected to be in the region of 2.3 million tonne and non-flat 470,000 tonne.

Industry sources said, steel corporates are now exploring new markets like South East Asia and Middle East. China is also understood to be a potential market.

Chinese demand for steel is expected to soar to 180 million tonne by the year-end while production will increase to 160 million tonne. Steel industry is hoping that the production gap proves beneficial for Indian steel corporates.

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