India may see a rise in hot rolled coil steel imports as an unintended consequence of Europe’s residual tariff-rate quota (TRQ) capping, Kallanish learns from Indian sources. This could lead to a re-direction of HRC imports from Southeast Asian and Asian countries into India.

Last week, the European Commission proposed to extend the EU safeguard measure on steel by a further two years to 30 June 2026. It also plans to introduce a 15% cap per origin over the “other country” TRQ for HRC (see Kallanish passim).

A market participant notes that a rise in HRC imports could occur from countries such as Vietnam, Japan, Korea and others, being redirected into India. Another trader notes: “[India’s] HRC imports could grow if Asian mills drop prices further.”

Indian producers have been outspoken about their concern over rising imports from Asian and Southeast Asian countries. In May, Indian steel representatives warned of the potential impact of imports into India following the US tariff hike on China-origin steel.

Indian Steel Association (ISA) secretary-general Alok Sahay said: "Imports from China and Japan have already gone up last year. Given this kind of situation, India is already under grave threat of import because all major steel consuming economies are shutting their doors on these steel producing countries.”

Given India has not implemented any trade remedial action on steel in the last couple of years, this makes it vulnerable to “predatory” imports that will hamper its ambitious steel capacity expansion plans, he added.

In May, Vietnamese steelmaker Formosa Ha Tinh Steel was also granted a licence renewal from the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), adding to the number of foreign players in the Indian import market.

India remained a net importer of finished steel in April, according to Joint Plant Committee data. Finished steel imports rose by 27.1% year-on-year to 0.585 million tonnes, while exports contracted by 41% to 0.505mt (see Kallanish passim).

India was a net finished steel importer in the fiscal year ending March 2024. Annual finished steel imports rose by 38.2% on-year to 8.32mt. Exports grew 11.5% to 7.487mt.

In January, ISA called for the Indian government to implement safeguard measures, such as a 8-12% import duty applicable to all steel shipments, particularly those arriving from countries such as China. But the steel ministry said it is not likely to impose a duty, citing higher-than-expected domestic demand.