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Indonesian steel makers demand curbing of boron added steel imports
21/02/2014 - 07:24:17 | Read 1,569 Time(s)

Steel producers have again called on the government to immediately curb the import of boron content alloy steel because the products having enjoyed lower import duties are sold at cheaper prices in the domestic market.

Mr Irvan Kamal chairman of Indonesian Iron and Steel Industry Association said that “The influx of imported boron-content alloy steel in the local market had made industry players increasingly concerned due to the negative impacts. The surge in boron added steel imports in recent years has put the domestic industry under heavy pressure and eroded the competitive edge of local products in terms of price.”

Mr Irvan said that “An immediate response from the government would rescue business players, who at the moment were mulling cutting production and reducing the number of employees. The government needed to immediately implement a policy to control the import of boron-content alloy steel. Such policy, however, needed to allow imports for the industries that needed the material, such as the automotive industry.”

In the document, the association alleged that alloy steel which contains a very small boron content of only 0.0008% had benefitted from lower or free import duties. Without the boron content the steel would be placed in a different category and subject to different tariff lines which are regular import duties anti dumping duties and safeguard duties placed by the country’s authority.

Profile steel containing boron, for example, enjoys import duties of up to 5% while non alloy steel gets higher duties of up to 15%. Non alloy steel or carbon steel in the form of hot rolled coil, cold rolled coil and profile are subject to anti dumping duties of between 5.9% and 55.6%.

Imports of non alloy steel in the form of HRC and CRC which plunged significantly by 44% in 2010, 40% in 2011 and 25% in 2012 are accused of having been shipped under the category of alloy steel of which imports from China, Japan and Taiwan have climbed significantly.

The trade practice has caused the government to lose IDR 145 billion in tax revenue each year. The entry of low boron content alloy steel is not specific to Indonesia as other Southeast Asian nations are also experiencing similar threats.

The trade authorities in several neighboring countries, such as Malaysia and Thailand, have taken bold measures to curb alloy steel imports, particularly from China, that have flooded their home markets.

Source – The Jakarta


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