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India steel export ban could cost mills $100 million per year

The interruption of steel exports effected by both state-backed and private producers since late March could cost mills $100 million per year in lost revenue, a senior executive at the Steel Authority of India told Tuesday, adding that the move had so far succeeded in limiting steel price
inflation.

     The SAIL executive estimated that exported primary steel products sold on average at $20-25/mt more than on India's domestic market, and with the country exporting 4.5 million mt of steel per year, the lost value could reach $100 million.

     The containment of Indian steel has meant prices of bars and rods have fallen 8-10%, the executive said. The price of flat steel products meanwhile, which have seen sharp increases in the rest of the world, have stabilized locally, he added.

     In late March, the Indian government asked local steelmakers to curb their exports to prevent shortages and to slow the rise of steel prices. "Since then, mills have respected this informal agreement and have indeed not taken any new foreign orders for steel products," the SAIL executive said.

     But the government's Cabinet Committee on Prices, which is meeting Tuesday, is yet to announce details of its formal policy to control steel price inflation. Indian press reports have suggested that disagreements within the committee have caused the delay in decision-making.

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