India imposes duties on stianless steel imports

MUMBAI (Reuters) – The government said on Thursday it was imposing anti-dumping duties for six months on cold-rolled flat stainless steel products to support local industry, a move analysts said will prevent sharp falls in prices in a bearish market.

The Finance Ministry said China, Japan, Korea, the European Union, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand and the United States had exported stainless steel at below its normal value.

“The domestic industry had suffered material injury,” it said in a statement.

Stainless steel, used in utensils, automobiles, white goods, and machines, is produced mainly by Jindal Stainless and Steel Authority of India unit Salem Steel Plant.

“Raw material prices are falling and every where there are inventories. In this scenario, the duty will prevent stainless steel prices from slipping much,” said Pawan Burde, senior research analyst at Angel Broking.

In the last fiscal year ended on March 31, India’s total steel imports were at 9.0 million tonnes of which cold rolled coils were just about a percent at 98,410 tonnes. See here

The duties to be imposed varied from less than $100 a tonne to more than $1,000 a tonne, depending on the country of origin and the specification of the stainless steel.

There were more than 80 different duty levels outlined in the statement. The duties will be in effect until Oct. 21.


Mittal to slash India steel spend in phase 1

NEW DELHI: World’s biggest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal, may be looking at slashing by half its proposed investments in the first phase of India rollout plans but will not scale down its target of achieving a total production capacity of 24 million tonnes in the country, a top company executive said on Wednesday.

Initially we were thinking of putting six million tonnes per annum steel plant in phase one. We may put up smaller plants… we could cut the size to three MTPC (million tonne per annum) in each phase due to the slump in demand and other issues, including land acquisition problems in India… Investments could naturally come down in the same proportion,” company’s India CEO Vijay Bhatnagar told reporters on the sidelines of an industry meet.

ArcelorMittal’s original plan was to invest Rs 100,000 crore in setting up two steel plants in Orissa and Jharkhand, with a capacity of 12 million tonnes each. But along with a global slump in steel demand due to economic slowdown, the company also sees a delay of at least two years in commencing production from its proposed plants in India, Bhatnagar said.

“We already have a process of acquiring mining and land. It turned out to be much more slow than what we expected in the beginning… and then on top of it we have the unexpected global slowdown… Our estimate is that (our) projects are getting delayed by minimum two years.”


OUTLOOK-India steel futures seen flat-to-higher on demand

MUMBAI, April 6 (Reuters) – India’s steel futures are expected to trade in a range with a positive bias this week on hopes of improved demand outlook, analysts said.

“This week we expect steel prices to be trading with higher bias amid hopes on demand recovery,” said Vishal Maniyar, metals analyst with Karvy Comtrade.

JSW Steel Ltd (JSTL.BO: Quote, Profile, Research), India’s No. 3 producer of the alloy, said on Monday its crude steel output in the Jan-March quarter rose 11 percent to 1.1 million tonnes, while long products grew by half to 0.13 million tonnes. See [ID:nBMB004977]

State-run producer Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL.BO: Quote, Profile, Research) said last week said it is targeting production of 12 million tonnes of saleable steel for 2009/10 and expects to post revenue of 400 billion rupees ($7.9 billion) in the fiscal year. See [ID:nBOM336309]

The most-traded May contract NSTK9 was 1.03 percent lower at 21,100 rupees per tonne at 6:26 p.m., after having gained 4 percent in the last week.

“We expect some upside in steel technically,” said Vibhu Ratandhara, an analyst with Bonanza Commodities in Mumbai.

“We recommend buying at support levels,” added Maniyar.

“Supports are pegged at 20,400 rupees then 20,050, with resistances at 21,450 then 22,100,” said Maniyar.

(Reporting by Siddesh Mayenkar; Editing by Sunil Nair)


India Steel Prices Likely To Rise

NEW DELHI — Indian steel companies are likely to increase prices by 500 rupees ($9.8) to 700 rupees a ton this month-end on expectations of improving demand from the automobile and construction sectors, industry officials said.

Benchmark hot-rolled coil prices range between 33,770 ruppes to 35,182 rupees/metric ton in the local market.

Industry officials said steel prices have stabilized and there is room for “moderate price increases” of about 500 rupees to 700 rupees/ton, an industry official who declined to be identified said Thursday.

“I think there is a stabilization of steel prices,” said J. Mehra, chief executive officer of Essar Steel Holdings Ltd. “There is no pressure on prices as of now….We will have to watch whether the demand is rising.”

Most auto makers in India reported sales growth in February and March, signaling a recovery in that sector and a potential rise in demand for steel.

“There is a revival in the auto sector, which is one big change; besides, cement sales have improved, which shows construction is picking up,” Director M.V.S. Seshagiri Rao of JSW Steel Ltd. said.

Value-added steel maker Uttam Galva Steels Ltd. plans to raise galvanized steel product prices by 500 rupees to 1,000 rupees/ton but has yet to decide on the size and timing of any increase, Ankit Miglani, director of the company told Dow Jones Newswires Wednesday.

Indian steel companies had cut steel prices by about 700 rupees/ton in February, passing on the benefit of tax cuts by the federal government.

Local steel prices are likely to remain firm in April due to some recovery in demand, said Pawan Burde, senior analyst with Mumbai-based Angel Broking.

Steel companies such as state-run Steel Authority of India and Tata Steel Ltd reported a sharp fall in net profit in the quarter ended December 2008, the first decline in three years. The industry expects to report better results in the quarter to March 2009.

“In India, demand is still the bright spot as we have seen good demand for billets, bars and angles,” JSW Steel’s Mr. Rao said, adding global steel demand is showing signs of recovery as evident in scrap and billet prices.

While industry officials said steel prices have stabilized, analysts said prices may weaken once the coking coal and iron ore contracts for this financial year, which started Wednesday, are fixed.

Indian steel prices could fall by 1,000 rupees to 1,200 rupees/ton by May-June once the raw material contracts are settled,” Angel’s Pawan Burde said.