Over the last three months, the Indian government has laid emphasis on addressing the concerns of the stainless steel industry which, it realises, produces a sustainable product with recyclability and a longer life cycle among its key benefits.
According to latest data released by the Indian Stainless Steel Development Association, domestic consumption grew nearly 10% during the most recent fiscal year to reach 4 million tonnes, thus outperforming the global average as stainless steel production contracted 5.2% from 58.2 million tonnes in calendar year 2021 to 55.2 million tonnes in 2022. Per-capita consumption in India advanced from 2.5 to 2.8 kg, driven by heightened demand for the eco-friendly metal in sectors such as the railways and processing industries, as well as in architecture, building and construction.
The micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) sector in India is suffering visible headwinds owing to exports from China, particularly of 200 series material. The industry is pointing to the 19% countervailing duty on Chinese products imposed by the Directorate General of Trade Remedies for a five-year period starting in 2017. However, this duty was suspended in January 2021 before completion of this five-year term, leading to significant imports. The government is now considering a request from producers to revisit this duty as the MSME sector is going through a difficult phase.