Will India Block Steel Imports From South Korea and Japan?

Why is India looking to temporary block steel imports from South Korea and Japan? During the first quarter of April, India’s steel imports from South Korea increased by 31%, while those from Japan rose by 30% according to Reuters. The flood of imports is so massive that the Indian government is contemplating steps to control imports, according to Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh

“The issue is there and if we have to take some actions, and we will not hesitate on that account,” Singh said. Between April and June, Delhi became a net importer of steel, with international supplies reaching 2.1 million tonnes, 15% higher than the previous year.

With this development, India has now passed the US to become South Korea’s third-largest market for steel, according to data from the Korea Iron & Steel Association. Delhi could look at implementing safeguards and under the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, safeguards are short-term constraints on imports to protect a domestic industry.

India’s imports of steel products used by railways soared to about 18,000 tonnes compared with 500 tonnes a year earlier, the Steel Ministry note said. Imports of steel products used in construction work doubled to nearly 22,000 tonnes during the same period.

The US imposed duties of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium imports in March. South Korea was the fourth-largest steel exporter to the US, while Japan was the 10th largest, the Steel Ministry said in a report.

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