imports rose 24% during April-October 2018 from a year ago after the United States and China imposed sanctions, but executives said inbound shipments may increase further and cause more distress to the domestic industry. Scraps imports also increased during this period, by 22%, after the US imposed 10% import duty on aluminium and China slapped 25% import duty on aluminium scrap from the US.
The industry expects further increase in imports, as China has classified aluminium scrap as restricted import from July 2019, and plans to ban all scrap dumping by 2020. India, on the other hand, does not have any standards to restrict scrap imports, said Vedanta CEO (aluminium and power) Ajay Kumar Dixit. He said India generates sufficient domestic scrap which can replace the entire aluminium scrap imports. “Despite significant presence of primary aluminium capacity and potential to generate sufficient domestic scrap, India’s consumption of scrap is 100% import dependent. Thus aluminium scrap imports in India are totally non-essential in nature and should be restricted to encourage domestic aluminium industry and recycling of indigenous scrap,” said Dixit.
He said low prices and rising costs have added to the woes of the aluminium industry. Aluminium prices on the London Metal Exchange
fell 23% in the past eight months to $1,800 per mt from $2,290 per mt in May 2018. Production costs for the overall industry have risen 30% in the past three-four years owing to increased cost of raw materials, coal cess, electricity duty and logistics costs.
In a letter to finance minister Arun Jaitley
, the Aluminium Association of India said, “The aluminium industry is going through a challenging phase and is under immense threat due to rising imports, declining domestic market share, increasing production and logistics costs. Moreover, the recent global developments leading to surge in aluminium imports have affected the sustainability of Indian aluminium industry.” The association has sought tariff barriers on imports. It has demanded a 10% import duty on both aluminium scrap and primary aluminium metal, in line with that on other non-ferrous metals such as copper, zinc
, lead, nickel