India’s iron exports under scrutiny by EU, S. Korea

India’s exports of certain iron items to the European Union (EU) and shipments of ferro alloys to South Korea have come under the scanner of local authorities in those jurisdictions.

The European Commission (EC) has initiated an investigation into certain items of grey iron and ductile cast iron from India on allegations that they were being ‘dumped’ (or sold below the price charged in the home market or below production cost) into the EU region.

This, the EC probe suggests, is adversely affecting local industry as these articles are used to cover and, or give access to ground or sub-surface systems.

Seven EU producers of the item including Saint-Gobain, together representing more than a quarter of the total EU production of certain cast iron items, lodged a complaint with the EC on October 31 that imports of such articles from India and China are being dumped causing material injury to them.

The complainants also provided ‘evidence’ of increase in imports (to the EU) of these items in absolute terms and in terms of their market share in the EU.

Investigation period

“Having determined... that there is sufficient evidence to justify the initiation of the proceeding, the EC hereby initiates an investigation...” the EC said in a notice on December 10. The investigation will cover the period from October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016. The examination of trends relevant for the assessment of injury will cover the period from January 1, 2013 to September 30, 2016.

The EC said “if the conclusions are affirmative, the investigation will examine whether the imposition of anti-dumping measures would not be against the EU’s interest.”

Due to the potentially large number of exporters of these items from India and China and a similarly large number of producers in the EU, the EC said it may limit the investigation to a limited sample of such exporters and producers so that the probe can be completed within the statutory time limits.

It asked all interested parties to provide information regarding the sample selection.

The EC had earlier imposed countervailing (anti-subsidy) duty and anti-dumping duty on imports of tubes and pipes of ductile cast iron from India.

Iron, steel and their related articles have been among India's main exports to Europe.

However, shipments of iron, steel and their related items to Europe had fallen from $3.86 billion in FY15 to $3.07 billion in FY16. In the period between April and September this fiscal, exports of these products were worth $1.82 billion.

Probe into ‘dumping’

Meanwhile, South Korean authorities have decided to initiate investigation into dumping of ferro-silico-managese (used in the steel industry) from India, Vietnam and Ukraine into South Korea, thereby allegedly causing injury to their domestic industry.

This was based on an application by local producers on November 18, 2016. The investigation period on dumping is from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016, while the investigation period on injury to the domestic industry is from January 1, 2013 to June 30, 2016.

India's exports of ferro-silico-manganese to South Korea had fallen from $46 million in FY13 to $34.1 million in FY14 and further to $32.3 million in FY15 and then down to $19.5 million in FY16, according to data from the Indian commerce ministry.