Government cuts export duty on steel products, iron ore

The government has withdrawn or cut export duty on steel products and iron ore effective Saturday. Duty was imposed in May this year.

As per the Finance Ministry notification issued late on Friday, exports of iron ore lumps and fines with ‘less than 58 per cent Fe’ will attract NIL export duty. In the case of iron ore lumps and fines with more than ’58 per cent Fe’, the rate of duty will be 30 per cent. Exports of iron ore pellets will attract NIL export duty. Similarly, exports of pig iron and steel products (classified under Harmonised System or HS 7201, 7208, 7209,7210,7213, 7214, 7219, 7222 & 7227) will attract NIL export duty.

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Further, import duty on Anthracite/PCI & coking coal and ferronickel will be 2.5 per cent, while it will be 5 per cent for coke and semi-coke .

These decisions were taken when India’s steel exports dipped 66 per cent in October – the highest for this fiscal – to 360,000 tonnes on weakened global demand and higher prices compared with competitors. Exports in October 2021 were 1.05 million tonnes, according to Steel Ministry data.

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Sequentially, (October vs September) exports dipped nearly 40 per cent. The decline was across all categories, including non-alloy , alloyed and stainless steel. Steel export has been on a slide since the beginning of this fiscal (April onwards) as recessionary fears, and geo-political unrest led to slowing demand and a downturn in the metal cycle. For the seven months (April to October) in the current fiscal, exports dipped 55 per cent year-on-year to 3.9mt (8.8 mt). Meanwhile, imports for the period rose substantially by 14 per cent to 3.15 mt. The industry blamed higher duties for lower export.

Incidentally, the country turned a net importer of steel (imports exceeding exports) in October – the second time this fiscal. As per the data available, alloy and stainless-steel exports witnessed a strong pick-up.

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India saw zero iron ore exports in Sept, Oct sales depressed too

September and October of FY23 are now the worst two-month-period for Indian iron ore traders in the last four years

In October 2022, the category saw a 205 per cent rise – the highest in recent times – recording an overseas sales of 295,000 tonnes. Sales in the corresponding period last year (October 2021) were 97,000 tonnes.

For the first seven months of this fiscal, there was a 145 per cent rise in alloy and stainless-steel exports, to 1.64 mt as against 0.7 mt, in the year-ago period. However, non-alloyed steel exports – the key segment that has so far been driving export numbers – witnessed a 93 per cent drop to 65,000 tonnes last month. Exports were 958,000 tonnes for the same month (October) last year. During seven months, the category witnessed a 72 per cent fall y-o-y to 2.32 mt.



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