India's state-run National Aluminium Co Ltd (NALCO) (NALU.BO) said aluminium producers are seeking a safeguard duty on imports from all countries and not just those from China, the company's spokesman said on Thursday.
Not only NALCO but all primary producers, namely Hindalco Industries (HALC.BO) and Sterlite Industries (STRL.BO), are requesting the government to impose a safeguard duty on primary aluminium coming from any country, not just China, the spokesman, who could not be named due to company policy, said.
Last week, trade secretary G.K. Pillai told reporters India was concerned about the sharp rise in imports from China and was investigating several goods being shipped from there, adding a safeguard duty on aluminium from China would be imposed in one or two weeks. [ID:nBOM438058].
The spokesman said an increasing amount of aluminium was being shipped in from several countries, hurting local producers who were already struggling in a weak market.
India's imports of all types of aluminium in April to December stood at 275,321 tonnes, compared to 377,607 tonnes imported in the entire 2007/08 fiscal year, he said, citing data from International Business Information Services.
At present, India imposes a 5 percent basic duty on imports of primary aluminium, while value-added aluminium, such as rolled products and foils, attracts a duty of over 20 percent, the spokesman said.
India also buys aluminium from the Middle East and southeast Asia, he said.
Previously the government has supported the sector, and now also they may, said Pawan Burde, senior research analyst for metals and mining at Angel Broking.
If they do (impose duty), it might be a double-digit one. (Reporting by Ruchira Singh; Editing by John Mair & Mark Williams)
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