During the first four months of the current fiscal the steel imports to India stood at 3.03MT is 8.2% higher compared to the level of last year. While Korea and Japan have together exported 1.5MT, nearly 50% of total imports at zero/near zero customs duty under RCEP agreement, China has exported 0.51MT of steel to India during the period, a 17% of total steel imports by India. It is interesting to note that imports from Korea and Japan in the current year is 24% more compared to last year while imports from China is down by 22%.
In totality India has turned into a net importer as exports at 2.47MT is 19% lower than imports. Secondly, UAE has emerged as the fourth source of imports of semi-finished (MS carbon and Alloy) and melting scrap. Last year India imported 8.4 MT of steel which was 5.4% higher than FY17. From China it imported 1.9 MT of steel, a 23% share of total steel imports to India.
As domestic ruling prices in China is higher compared to its export offer, it is seen that while China has decreased its steel exports in April-July’18 to India, its apparent consumption in the first few months of the current year is slated to move up by the end of the current year.
China is in the process of restructuring the economy- a visible shift from heavy industry led mega infrastructure investment to growth in light engineering and service sector, a less steel intensive structural construction process. However for a balanced regional development which has been accepted as the focal point of development process, it is found that infrastructure investment would continue to feature the Chinese growth process and the result is seen in the growth of crude steel production (3% growth in FY18 and 6% growth in Jan-July’1 and corresponding growth in Apparent Steel Consumption of China.