U.S. steel import curbs could scuttle India's export ambitions: minister

Chaudhary Birender Singh, Union Minister of Steel, Government of India, speaks during an interview with Reuters in New Delhi, India, March 13, 2018. REUTERS/Saumya Khandelwal

US-INDIA-STEEL:U.S. steel import curbs could scuttle India's export ambitions: minister

By Neha Dasgupta

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's ambition to become a major steel exporter could be disrupted by U.S. import curbs, Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh said, underscoring the need for free trade.

"Our exports have increased substantially, about 40 percent growth during January to December (2017)," Singh told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday.

"What I foresee is that our exports are going to grow. In that case, these kind of disturbances should not take place."

Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump set import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, to come into force in 15 days, a disputed move that threatens to spiral into a trade war.

India's stance, Singh said, will be to call for unrestricted trade and watch for responses from other steel-producing countries.

"We can't remain in isolation," he said, adding it had similar interests to those of other steel-producing countries.

"We are not exactly in wait and watch mode but the pace and intention of the other steel producing countries should also be watched closely."

According to a Feb. 22 note prepared by the steel ministry, India expects a loss of $130 million due to the U.S. import tariffs, which accounts for just 5 percent of the country's total steel exports.

India was already expecting a 6 percent fall in exports to the United States for 2017/18, to 333,656 tonnes, it said.

Trade tensions are threatening what is the best global economic growth outlook in seven years, the OECD said on Tuesday.


India's much-delayed $1 billion joint venture between ArcelorMittal and state-owned Steel Authority of India Ltd to produce automotive steel may finally be signed by March-end, Singh said.

SAIL and ArcelorMittal signed a preliminary understanding in 2015 to jointly produce 1.2 million tonnes of automotive steel a year, but disagreements over commercial terms have delayed the venture that would give the Luxembourg-based company a foothold in the world's fastest-growing steel market.

SAIL was also in talks with Canada's Teck Resources Ltd , the largest North American producer of coking coal used to make steel, for long-term purchase agreements, Singh said.

South Korean steel major POSCO <005490.KS>, meanwhile, has been in talks with Indian mills about joint venture opportunities, he said.

"They (POSCO) approached us about six months ago to have a discussion on certain collaborations," Singh said, adding that a project with POSCO might take off within two years without giving more details.

Singh said India was pushing foreign companies to set up plants in India to benefit from a procurement policy that gives preference to local mills, as the country needed to do more to make high-end steel products.

"High-end steel production is the major area of our concern," he said.

(Reporting by Neha Dasgupta; Editing by Malini Menon/Jason Neely/Susan Fenton)

Related News

Taliban suicide attacks, shootout kill 16 in...

Mar 2, 2017

Twin Taliban suicide bombings and a shootout with Afghan security forces that followed one of the...

At least one dead, 35 wounded in Kabul...

Mar 1, 2017

US-AFGHANISTAN-BLAST-CASUALTIES:At least one dead, 35 wounded in Kabul attacks-Afghan official

Taliban claim attacks in Afghan capital, at least...

Mar 1, 2017

US-AFGHANISTAN-BLAST:Taliban claim attacks in Afghan capital, at least 15 dead

Taliban claim attacks in Afghan capital, at least...

Mar 1, 2017

US-AFGHANISTAN-BLAST:Taliban claim attacks in Afghan capital, at least 15 dead

Death toll from Afghanistan attacks climbs to 22

Mar 2, 2017

The Afghan Health Ministry says the death toll from simultaneous suicide bombings in the capital...

Afghan women fencers aim to parry prejudice

Mar 8, 2017

US-WOMENS-DAY-AFGHANISTAN-FENCING:Afghan women fencers aim to parry prejudice

You may also like these

Afghan official: Death toll from hospital attack...

Mar 15, 2017

An Afghan official says the official death toll from last week's militant assault on a Kabul...

Afghan music contest pits first female finalist...

Mar 20, 2017

US-AFGHANISTAN-ENTERTAINMENT:Afghan music contest pits first female finalist against rapper

Barber-turned-rapper crowned 'Afghan Star' in...

Mar 22, 2017

US-AFGHANISTAN-ENTERTAINMENT:Barber-turned-rapper crowned 'Afghan Star' in talent show

Bombers kill at least 6 attending Kabul funeral

Jun 3, 2017

Afghan officials says a trio of suicide bombers in Kabul have killed at least six people attending...

The Latest: Afghan chief executive goes on TV...

Jun 3, 2017

Afghanistan's chief executive has appeared live on television after surviving three suicide bomb...

About Us

Get yourself immersed in engaging topics right here. Daily World Feed is a multi-platform media, providing you latest breaking news straight from the industry.

Contact us: sales@dailyworldfeed.com

Subscribe Now!