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Industrialists blame big steel plants for spurt in steel prices

Industrialists blame big steel plants for spurt in steel prices

News is brought to you by Mr. Shailesh Karia

Published on date 14th February 2020.

Say big firms taking advantage of slowdown in China due to coronavirus Sore over the monopolistic approach of big players, the industrialists maintain that owing to the spread of coronavirus in China, prices of steel from the past one and a half month had been increased by primary steel units by up to Rs 6,000 to Rs 7,000 per metric tonne. The big steel plants are taking undue advantage of the China crisis by creating shortage of steel in the country, claim the local industry here, who buy the product in routine.

The industry also alleged that the public sector steel companies such as the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam and the Steel Authority of India (SAI) were also playing hand-in-hand with big private players. Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Badish Jindal, president, Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association (FOPSIA) said the prime steel plants were exporting 80 per cent of their steel to other countries or to the construction sector.

“The prime steel products are used for making auto parts, fasteners and products such as bicycle parts. A good amount of the product is absorbed by the local industry. These plants supply both flat and long products such as wire rods, HR coil, CR coil and GC sheets.

But sudden spurt in prices have shaken the industry, which is already passing through a recessionary phase,” said Jindal. Jindal added that the foreign buyers were now looking up to the local manufacturers for supply of finished products due to spread of coronavirus in China.

“The imports and exports from China are almost negligible currently. But the local industry/exporters, here, are not in a position to quote the rates as prices of steel are shooting fast. The industrialists cannot book orders as they have no idea what the prices are. These may escalate further and industrialists may incur losses,” said Jindal.

The president of the All-Industry Trade Forum and member of the Steel Consumer Council, Badish Jindal, has also written a representation to the steel minister on this matter to convene an emergent meeting of the Steel Consumer Council to discuss the issue. One of the builders here, who has come up with home-apartments on Pakhowal Road, said since some time now, the prices of steel had been fluctuating, but in the past month or so, the prices had escalated manifold.

“Steel is used in a good quantity in the construction business. And since the steel prices have increased, the cost of construction has also gone up. We have requested the government to impose duty on export of raw steel material to curtail its export,” said the builder.

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