The Indian Pipe Manufacturers’ Association (IPMA) is seeking government intervention to regulate the prices of steel. The industry body, in a letter to Union Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, has sought a temporary ban on steel export in an effort to prevent steel players from diverting their produce to the international markets.
“Pipe manufacturers and MSMEs are struggling for a long time due to increased prices and shortage of steel in the domestic market. We had approached the Steel Ministry, requesting your kind intervention for regulating prices and imposing a temporary ban on steel export,” the letter dated May 20, 2021 said.
The association said it has also marked a copy of the letter to the offices of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan, Secretary Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade Guruprasad Mohapatra and Steel Secretary Pradip Kumar Tripathi to apprise them about such issues.
The IPMA said steel prices have increased more than 60% in the past 10 months and are expected to increase further by Rs 4,000/tonne in coming days. This has made existence for down-stream industries impossible who are totally dependent on integrated steel mills for their raw material requirement. As such, several down-stream industries have closed and many more are on the brink of closure.
A spokesperson for the IPMA said steel prices have been highly volatile since the last seven to eight months. In some cases like API grades, oil and gas lines, prices have gone up by over 100 – 125% than what it was a few months ago. Commercial grade itself was has moved from being around Rs 37500 per MT to current levels close to Rs 70,000 per MT and still on the rise.
“This has severely impacted our project based business which needs certain validity. The primary steel manufacturers don’t give any validity more than a few days as they want to encash on the rising price trends thereby causing huge gaps and the resultant losses on account of steel volatility,” he told PTI. “This has put most of the pipe laying and construction business on a slow burner thereby negating the government’s push for faster infrastructure development.”