JSW Steel Seeks 25% Duty On Steel Imports
Seshagiri Rao, group chief financial officer and joint managing director of JSW Steel, pauses during a news conference in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

JSW Steel Seeks 25% Duty On Steel Imports

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JSW Steel demanded a 25 percent safeguard duty on imports of steel to protect domestic players.

JSW Steel Joint Managing Director and Group Chief Financial Officer Seshagiri Rao made the statement while speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an industry event.

On the domestic steel sector being impacted due to the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, he said it is a matter of concern. A lot of diversion of steel products is happening in India, affecting the domestic industry.

The import went up and a major part of it was from free trade agreement countries in August. Most of the countries have taken protectionist measures and the domestic steel industry has also been seeking safeguard duty, he said.

A 25 percent duty we are looking at on steel imports. It is very much essential. There are FTAs signed and majority of imports are coming from FTAs. Imposing safeguard duties is very much essential. All other countries have taken measures.
Seshagiri Rao, Joint Managing Director and Group CFO, JSW Steel

In 2018-19, finished steel exports stood at 6.36 million tonne, a decline of 33.87 percent compared to the previous year, according to official data. Imports stood at 7.83 MT, a growth of 4.7 percent from last year. Thus, India was a net importer of total finished steel.

In August 2019, the share of imports of finished steel from FTA countries such as Korea, Japan and Indonesia aggregated around 70 percent of total imports to India.

He also said JSW Steel will take part in auctions of mines next year. A number of mining leases for coal and iron ore is slated to expire in March next year.

Speaking to reporters at the same event, JSPL Chairman Naveen Jindal said his company, which at present buys iron ore from miners, will also participate in auctions in order to reduce dependence on open market for raw material.

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