Aluminium association to seek safeguard duty on Chinese imports

The Aluminium Association of India (AAI) is planning to move the government again demanding impost of safeguard duties on cheaper imports from China, which, they fear, would harm domestic industry at a time when aluminium consumption is poised to take a big leap.

''The industry body will soon approach the government with a demand to impose safeguard duty over and above the international benchmark prices on Chinese aluminium imports whose landed price itself is lower than the London Metal Exchange (LME) prices,'' K S S Murthy, honorary general secretary, AAI, said.

It may be noted that the revenue department had terminated a review of safeguard duty on import of certain aluminium products from China, as the domestic industry did not press for continuation of the levy. "The review safeguard investigation...concerning imports of aluminium flat rolled products and aluminium foil into India from China is hereby terminated," a finance ministry notification said.

The review investigation started in February 2011 was terminated as the applicants, including, the Aluminium Association of India, sought end of the probe. The Directorate General of Safeguard in the revenue department said the investigation has become "infructuous" upon request for withdrawal of the probe application.

The government had imposed safeguard duty of 12-14 per cent on aluminium flat rolled products and at 25-30 per cent on aluminium foil for two-years ending March 2011.

However, in February, the domestic industry moved the directorate seeking review for continued imposition of the duty for another two-years saying the imports were causing 'market disruption'.