India net importer of steel in April-Nov as Chinese shipments reach 5-yr high

By Neha Arora

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India turned a net importer of finished steel in the first eight months of the fiscal year that began in April with shipments from China reaching their highest in five years, according to provisional government data seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

China was the top exporter of finished steel to India between April and November, shipping 1.3 million metric tons of the alloy, up 48.2% from the same period a year earlier.

The world’s top steel producer exported mostly hot-rolled and cold-rolled coil or sheets to India, followed by plates, and pipes.

The Indian steel industry has sought government intervention to safeguard against Chinese imports.

During April-November, India imported a total of 4.3 million tons of finished steel, up 13.4% from a year earlier with shipments at a four-year high, data showed.

South Korea was the second-biggest exporter of finished steel to India over the period, shipping 1.3 million metric tons.

India is the world’s second-biggest crude steel producer with output standing at 94.1 million tons in the eight months, up 14.7% from a year earlier.

Domestic consumption of finished steel was 87.1 million tons, up 14.9% at a five-year high.

(Reporting by Neha Arora; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)