India plans safeguard duties on iron, steel items from China

India plans safeguard duties on iron, steel items from China New Delhi: India plans to impose safeguard duties on some iron and steel pipes, tubes and profiles to protect domestic producers from a flood of imports from countries like China and Italy.

The Directorate General of Safeguards under the Finance Ministry has initiated an investigation on impact of large scale import of seamless pipes, tubes and hollow profiles of iron or non-ally steel from countries such as China and Italy.

"It has been found that prima facie increased imports of seamless pipes and tubes have caused and are threatening to cause serious injury to the domestic producers... And as such it has been decided to initiate an investigation in the matter," it said in a notice.

It sought comments from interested parties by May 21.

The application for imposition of restrictive duties was jointly filed by Indian Seamless Metal Tubes Ltd and was supported by Maharashtra Seamless Ltd. The applicants account for more than 50 percent of the total domestic production of seamless pipes and tubes in India.

The DGS will investigate imports between 2009-10 and 2012-13.

"The imports have increased from 307,581 tons in 2009-10 to 373,777 tons till 2012-13, recording an increase of 22 percent," it said adding even though there was a decline in 2012-13 over the previous fiscal, but quarter wise analysis showed a sharp rising trend from Q2-Q3 on absolute basis.

In view of surging imports and loss of market share, the inventories with the domestic industry have also increased significantly - 5691 tons in 2009-10 to 14,170 tons in April-December 2012-13 fiscal.

An immediate safeguard duty is being sought for a period of four years.

PTI