Representatives of India’s aluminium sector approached government leaders earlier this week to petition for the imposition of import quotas on the metal, as concerns that tremendous amounts of aluminium scrap from the People’s Republic of China that has been turned away from the United States by the Trump administration’s tariffs may soon be cascading towards India’s shores.
Acting under the auspices of the Aluminium Association of India (AAI) several leaders of India’s top aluminium firms, including Vedanta and Hindalco, conversed with Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Secretary Ramesh Abhishek on the subject. Per the AAI, imports of scrap aluminium have already been on the rise over the preceding two years, and few industry experts doubt anything but a significant increase even above those levels thanks to the Trump aluminium tariffs.
According to a presentation delivered by the AAI, Indian aluminium firms have already lost ground due to unfavorable trade agreements entered into by the government. The association also petitioned for antidumping duties, but said that the metal should be exempt from a trade pact currently being negotiated among 16 Asian countries.
More specifically, the AAI is seeking “the imposition of quantitative restrictions to the tune of 70 to 80 per cent of annual average imports of the last five years, i.e. 1250 kilo tonnes per annum, to restrict increasing aluminium metal and scrap imports, in line with the US imposing imports quotas.”
The AAI also requested that the aluminium industry be afforded recognition as a “core industry,” and enjoy the benefits that accrue with such a status.
In addition, the AAI is pursuing assistance in gaining increased access to coal and bauxite resources held by the government.
“The primary industry invested around Rs 1 trillion from 2007 to 2015, and doubled aluminium capacity from 2 million tonnes to 4 million tonnes. The investment decision was based on allotment of captive coal and bauxite mines, which would have made the Indian industry the cheapest aluminium producer. But the allotment of the captive coal mines were cancelled by the Supreme Court. By that time projects were built, which now depend on purchased coal.”
For its part, the ministry said that the measures and suggestions brought forth by the AAI will be considered by the relevant officials.