Indian government launches probe into rise in aluminum imports

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India’s Directorate General of Safeguards this week launched an investigation into imports of unwrought aluminum and aluminum alloys following an application from several domestic producers.

The application has been jointly filed by Vedanta, Bharat Aluminium and Hindalco Industries calling for the imposition of a safeguard duty on imports of unwrought aluminum, citing a threat of serious injury to the domestic industry caused by increased imports, the DGS said in a public notice dated April 19.

The period of investigation in the case runs from the 2011-2012 financial year through 2015-2016 (April 2015 through January 2016, extrapolated to give an annualized figure for the full April 2015-March 2016 year)it said.

Over the period in question, imports rose from 242,533 mt in 2011-2012 to 432,370 mt on an annualized basis for 2015-2106 — an increase of 78%, the DGS noted.

“The applicants … have claimed that the increased imports of the product under consideration caused and are threatening to cause serious injury to the domestic producers,” the notice said.

Over the same period, domestic Indian production rose by 76% from 887,286 mt in 2011-2012 to 1,563,639 mt annualized in 2015-2106, DGS said.

Aluminium is imported into India from a number of countries, mainly from the UAE, Malaysia, Russia, South Africa, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and Thailand, the DGS said.

The share of imports in the Indian market has increased from 11% in 2011-2012 to 15% in 2015-2016, the notice said, adding: “During the same period the share of domestic industry only increased from 28% to 31% [excluding captive consumption] despite a significant level of increase in production capacities involving large capital investment.”

The applicants have called for the immediate imposition of a safeguard duty on imports of alloyed and not alloyed unwrought aluminium into India for a period of four years, the DGS said, adding that they had also requested for imposition of a provisional safeguard duty “in view of the steep deterioration in performance of the domestic industry as a result of increased imports of the product under consideration.”

The DGS said it had concluded that despite an improvement in productivity by domestic producers, “increased imports of PUC (alloyed and not alloyed unwrought aluminium) in absolute terms have caused losses to the domestic industry and are threatening to cause serious injury to the domestic producers.”

As such it has decided to initiate an investigation into the matter; all interested parties have been given a period of 30 days from April 19 to make their view known.
Source: Platts