The government on Friday set a minimum import price for steel products in a bid to check dumping of steel by countries such as China that have left almost all steel companies in the country with heavy losses and rising inventories.
The minimum import price (MIP) of 173 steel products have been fixed in a range varying from $341 to $752 per tonne, as per a notification issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).
''MIP is introduced against 173 HS Codes (iron and steel products),'' DGFT said.
The MIP on ingots and billets, blooms and slabs have been fixed at $362, $352 and $341 per tonne, respectively, while for flat-rolled products of iron or non-alloy steel of a width of 600 mm or more and hot-rolled one, the minimum prices will be $445 and $500 depending on the product.
For flat-rolled products of iron or non-alloy steel of a width of 600 mm or more and cold-rolled steel the MIP has been fixed at $560 per tonne.
MIP for flat-rolled products of other alloy steel of a width of 600 mm or more will be between $445 and $752 per tonne.
For products like corrugated flat-rolled products of iron/non-alloy steel, the MIP ranges between $643 and $752.
Imports under advance authorisation scheme are exempted from minimum import price (MIP) under this notification.
MIP is also exempted for API grade steel conforming toX-52 and higher API grades for manufacturing pipes used for pipeline transportation system as in the petroleum and natural gas industries.
These MIP conditions are valid for a maximum of six months or till further orders, whichever is earlier.
The move comes a day after India's top private sector steel maker reported a consolidated net loss of Rs2,127 crore in the October-December 2015-16 quarter.
Other top Indian steel makers such as JSW Steel, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd and Kalyani Steels have all reported losses and have been demanding steps to protect domestic steel industry.
A hike in import duty last year failed to deter Chinese mills from undercutting local mills and the country's growing steel market continues to lure steel makers across the world, especially China, which accounts for nearly half of the global steel production.