India starts safeguard probe against sudden, sharp jump in met coke imports, ET EnergyWorld

New Delhi: India has started a safeguard probe into sudden and sharp increase in the imports of metallurgical coke, used as fuel in steel and chemicals plants, following a complaint by domestic industries that the inbound shipments are impacting them. In an application to the commerce ministry’s arm Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR), BLA Pvt Ltd, Jindal Coke Ltd, Saurashtra Fuels, Vedanta Malco Energy and Visa Coke Ltd have alleged that there has been sudden, sharp, significant and recent increase in the imports of low ash metallurgical coke in India, which is adversely impacting the industry. To guard the industry from these imports, the applicants have requested imposition of safeguard measures in the form of quantitative restrictions on the imports.

“On the basis of the duly substantiated application filed by the petitioners…the authority considers that there is sufficient evidence to justify initiation of safeguard investigation,” the DGTR has said in a notification.

In the probe, the DGTR would determine whether imports have increased suddenly and sharply in the recent period and as a result of unforeseen developments, and whether such increased imports have caused or posed a threat of serious injury to the domestic industry, it added.

Safeguard measures in the forms of duty or quantitative restrictions are trade remedies available to the World Trade Organization (WTO) member-countries. India has been a member since 1995.

They are imposed to provide a level-playing field to domestic players in case of sudden and significant increase in imports of a product.

Met coke is used as a primary fuel in steel plants, chemical plants, ferro alloy plants, foundries and pig iron plants.

The applicants are engaged in the production of this product in the country. The DGTR would consider the import data of 2022-23 fiscal for the investigations.

According to the notification, the imports during April-December 2022 rose by 40 per cent to 10.03 lakh tonnes.

The petitioners have claimed that the imports have increased due to certain unforeseen factors such as Russia-Ukraine conflict, and sanctions on Russia by western countries.

Due to the war, coal prices increased globally due to increase in the prices of raw material — coking coal. It leads to an increase in the cost of met coke production for the domestic producers.

Russia being the major exporter of coal, the sanctions have led to increase in coal prices due to supply constraints and China benefited due to proximity to Russia by gaining the freight advantages.

  • Published On Jul 4, 2023 at 07:02 AM IST

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