NEW DELHI: India has launched an investigation to determine whether a surge in imports of ferro-molybdenum, which is used in steel, nickel and cobalt alloys, from South Korea is hitting domestic producers. According to a notice issued by the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR), the Indian Ferro Alloy Producer’s Association along with Boon Metal &Alloy Corporation, Premier Alloys & Chemicals Pvt Ltd and Team Ferro Alloys Pvt Ltd have filed a request to increase their imports of the product cause “serious” injury to domestic producers.

The request was filed under the bilateral safeguard rules of the India-Korea Free Trade Agreement. Under the pact, India granted tariff concessions on this product.

The petitioners argued that the importation of the product has increased in absolute terms and relative to production and consumption in India.

The notification said there was a “sudden, sharp and significant” increase in imports between 2018-2019 and 2021-22.

It can be seen that there is a significant increase in imports before and after the start of the tariff concessions and that due to this jump, the performance of the national industry has decreased in terms of parameters such as production, l capacity utilization, sales and profits, he said. .

DGTR said there is prima facie evidence that imports have increased in absolute and relative terms, causing serious injury to domestic producers. “… the Director General considers it appropriate to initiate the (bilateral safeguard) investigation,” he said.

As part of the investigation, it would determine whether imports of the product from Korea constitute increased imports and whether this has caused or is threatening to cause serious injury to the domestic industry.

In the investigation, if it is established that the increase in imports has had an impact on domestic players, management would recommend the imposition of a safeguard duty on imports. The Department of Finance will take the final call to impose the duty.

The duty helps provide a level playing field for the domestic industry in terms of the price of the chemical in the domestic market. Price is a key element after product quality in any market.

Bilateral trade between the two countries increased to USD 21.5 billion in 2018-2019 from USD 20.1 billion in 2017-2018. It increased to USD 25.6 billion in 2021-22. The trade balance is very favorable to Korea.

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