The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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US ruling to help local steel majors

Mumbai, Aug. 28: The decision of the US International Trade Commission (ITC) not to impose steep anti-dumping duties on cold-rolled steel imports is expected to benefit Indian steel makers like Tata Iron and Steel Company Ltd (Tisco), Ispat Industries, Jindal Iron and Steel and Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) among others.

Industry circles said the ruling comes as a shot in the arm for industry in its bid to tap the US market.

In fact, US cold-rolled steel prices are reported to have risen by over 60 per cent during the last nine months and concerns are now being raised about a shortage of supply in the market.

The US had earlier levied anti-dumping duties on Indian hot-rolled coils ranging from 29 per cent to 43 per cent, applicable for five years. It had also levied preliminary anti-dumping margins of 153.65 per cent on Indian exports of cold-rolled carbon steel flat products in April this year. Both these moves had adversely affected Indian exports to the US.

Tisco, for instance, saw steel exports dip 16 per cent to 0.358 million tonnes in the financial year ended March 31, 2002, compared with 0.425 million tonnes in the previous year. Consequently, the company’s export turnover declined by 23 per cent to Rs 581 crore from Rs 757 crore in the previous year following a substantial reduction in steel and ferro chrome exports. Exports of flats alone plummeted to over 3,000 tonnes from 79,500 tonnes in the previous year.

Sources now say that yesterday’s action by the US authority would provide much-needed relief to integrated producers of the commodity. It is also being pointed out that a vital outcome of the move, apart from increased exports to the US, will be better demand for hot-rolled coils, as it is the primary raw material for cold-rolled steel.

The US trade panel’s decision today saw renewed interest in steel scrips led by Tisco that witnessed a marginal rise in intra-day trades.

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