Indian government and aluminium industry sources told Reuters earlier this week that the country is soon to begin monitoring aluminium and copper imports in an effort at containing the flow of both metals into its market from the People’s Republic of China and other Asian sources.
Per the news service, anonymous sources within India’s government indicate that it will presently begin requiring importers of aluminium and copper to register with customs authorities, which will be the first step in a wider plan to tighten control of such imports via a permitting system.
The move dovetails with the government’s stated intentions of increasing domestic sourcing of both metals, which is aimed at boosting the country’s self reliance for same. A letter saying as much from the federal mines ministry was sent to the commerce ministry a few weeks ago, referencing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s larger aim at transitioning exports of raw materials for exports of value-added products.
“The purpose of (the) system is to have adequate information […] so that an appropriate policy intervention could be devised,” commented the mines ministry in the letter.
Though the ministries in question declined comment, one anonymous government official told Reuters that the screening process will help officials get a sense of the source and magnitude of aluminium and copper dumping it says is now occurring.
Overall, China, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam conduct the lion’s share of global aluminium and copper exports. India alone imported about US$4.4 billion in aluminium since the beginning of last year, with China contributing about one quarter of that total.
“China is a huge threat for India’s aluminium industry,” opined Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI)’s joint secretary general B.K. Bhatia to Reuters.
India has begun to limit commerce with its northern neighbor in recent months partly due to a deadly skirmish earlier this summer along its contested border in the Himalaya Mountains.