NEW DELHI: Despite the recent hike in import duty on certain category of flat alloy products, India's steel imports rose by 21 per cent at 5.69 lakh tonnes during the last month due to the rising consumption.
For the April-July period, steel imports from Korea and Japan increased 36 per cent to 2.5 million tonnes over the similar year-ago period at 1.88 million tonnes.
As per the latest provisional data from the Joint Plant Committee under the Ministry of Steel, the import of non-alloy or carbon steel products rose 37.3 per cent to 1.96 million tonnes for the period.
The alloy steel imports increased 32 per cent at 6.01 lakh tonnes.
The government had increased the customs duty from 5 to 7.5 per cent on imports of certain category of products in order to ensure same level of duty on both alloy and non-alloy steel.
The growth in consumption is the major driver of increased imports. The consumption stood at 7.7 per cent in the first four months of the current fiscal and domestic production soared up by 3.3 per cent.
During the period, the total steel production stood at 25.01 million tonnes, while consumption was pegged at 24.3 million tonnes.
In 2011-12, steel consumption increased at 6 per cent. For the ongoing fiscal, large steel manufacturers like SAIL and Tata Steel expect domestic consumption to increase between 8-9 per cent.