EU curbs, Sterlite Copper shut down take toll on metal exports: EEPC India

EU curbs, Sterlite Copper shut down take toll on metal exports: EEPC India

Agency News

Kolkata, Mar 1: Protectionist policies in EU for import of steel products from India and other markets along with shut down of the Tuticorin plant of Sterlite Copper are among the major reasons for a sharp drop in exports of ferrous and non-ferrous metal exports, the EEPC India said, cautioning the declining trend in export of the key metals may continue.

Exports of primary steel fell by 10.7 per cent in January 2019 and 14 pc in the first ten months of the current fiscal. Exports of copper and copper products dropped by 76.6 pc in January 2019 and 69.6 pc in first the ten months.Likewise, outward shipments of zinc and products declined by 17.6 pc in January 2019 and 29.7 pc in the first ten months, according to EEPC India analysis.

Despatches of tin and products: fell by 54.8 pc in January 2019 and 17.4 pc in the cumulative months of the current fiscal, said EEPC which would be organising its flagship International Engineering Sourcing Show (IESS) from March 14 and 16 at Chennai over 300 companies from India and abroad would be participating in the IESS with Malaysia being the partner country.
'' The cumulative impact of the fall in these four product lines is USD 3.542 billion for the first ten months (without any growth). Had this figure been added to the USD 65 billion for the April-January period of the current fiscal, our exports growth would have been shot up to over 11.2 pc than the current growth rate of over 5.5 pc" said EEPC India Chairman Ravi Sehgal.
For these metals, there was a fall in the exports by 10.73 pc( USD 817.82 million) in January 2019 vis-à-vis January 2018. Cumulatively, the decline was 13.93 pc(. around USD 8022.3 million) in first 10 months (April-January 2019) vis-à-vis same period last year. The domestic price realization is far better than external prices. Further, global price trends also indicate that the Chinese have dropped steel prices between 10 pc and 15 pc in various categories and this has further impacted our steel exports negatively.

Decline in growth has been observed in Belgium (-17.83%), Indonesia (-27.88%), South Korea (-17.57%), Malaysia (-28.83%), USA (-57.54%).''It is clear from these facts that the protectionist policies adopted by EU, US are also responsible for the decline in exports of steel''.Besides, Indian domestic refined copper production has fallen significantly during the first half of 2018-19 mainly due to the shutdown of the 400 KT, Tuticorin smelter of Sterlite which accounted for 40% of the country’s smelting capacity.

''Recently Supreme Court refused to allow Vedanta plan to reopen Sterlite Copper's Tuticorin plant. Therefore, in this context, EEPC India feels that the trend in exports of copper will continue. Domestic industry rely heavily on imports of copper concentrate from far off
countries, particularly from South Africa in a big way. This really increases the cost of production. The duty on the copper concentrate is presently 2.5% finished goods coming at zero duty, there is a situation of inverted duty structure. Government could consider removal of this duty in order to help the industry becoming globally competitive.''