Aluminium products are displayed on a rack at a store (Photographer: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Bloomberg)

India’s Aluminium Scrap Import Rises Over 22% In April-Oct., Says Industry Body

India's aluminium scrap import jumped 22 percent to 7.73 lakh tonne during April-October this fiscal according to the Aluminium Association of India, which has demanded higher import duty on the metal to protect domestic players.

The import of aluminium scrap was 6.32 lakh tonne during the same period of 2017-18, AAI said in its latest report.

“We had already requested the government to increase the duty on imports of aluminium scrap and apprised the government that Indian aluminium sector may become a victim of escalating trade war between the U.S. and China," the AAI report said.

On March 8 this year, the U.S. President Donald Trump imposed a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminium. Later, China also announced 25 percent import duty on various U.S. goods and commodities, including aluminium scrap.

The report further said the local aluminium industry is facing immense threat in the wake of ongoing trade tiff between the two major economies—the U.S. and China.

It said that India is a natural market and the affected countries are dumping aluminium into India, and the U.S. is diverting large volume of scrap to India since the European Union and other countries have stringent standards for scrap.

In July, the AAI had apprised the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion of the situation which could arise in future.

An AAI delegation had urged the government to increase the duty on imports of aluminium scrap, saying the domestic players may become a victim of escalating trade war between the U.S. and China.

Besides the AAI, various industry bodies and agencies like Assocham and S&P Global Ratings had also raised concerns that India may become the victim of escalating trade war between the two economies as the countries exporting to these nations may start dumping their products into India.

Also read: Commerce Ministry Mulling Import Duty Hike On Aluminium, Says Suresh Prabhu 

The association said it request the government to safeguard the interest of the local aluminium players, by raising the duty on both primary aluminium and aluminium to 10 percent, in line with other non ferrous metals like copper, zinc, lead, nickel, tin etc.

On Wednesday, Union Minister Suresh Prabhu said that the commerce ministry is in favour of hiking import duty on aluminium with a view to support domestic manufacturers.

"That is a proposal to protect our domestic industry. The proposal is under examination and we support the proposal," Prabhu told PTI. The minister said there has been a complaint by aluminium industry about dumping of the commodity. Earlier, Union Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh had also said that the tariff imposed by the U.S. can indirectly affect the domestic steel sector.