‘Iran steel entering India after paper-swap in UAE’

‘Iran steel entering India after paper-swap in UAE’

Mumbai, May 23: Some Indian steel importers are allegedly importing steel from Iran in collusion with shipping agents in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), circumventing the US sanctions that are in place since mid-2018.
In March this year, about 65,000 tonnes of steel, mostly hot rolled coil, entered India after the import papers were altered in the UAE, a top executive with a large steel manufacturer said.
On the face of it, these papers looked genuine but a close scrutiny revealed that the origin of the consignments was Iran, which is under USled trade sanctions due to its efforts to obtain nuclear capability. According to industry sources, the sudden start in exporting of steel by the UAE, a net steel importer for years, without any additional manufacturing, was also surprising. The Indian Steel Association (ISA), which represents the country’s steel producers, has taken up this issue of circumvention of the US sanctions with the steel ministry, external affairs ministry, commerce ministry and the Indian Banks Association (IBA). According to letters written by ISA, imports from Iran are at a price which are putting Indian steel producers at a severe disadvantage.
Consignments even came at a price of around $450 per tonne, which after import duty and other charges, would translate to a landed cost of about $512 per tonne (about Rs 36,350). Compared to this, imports from China in March 2019 were at about $586 per tonne, translating to an import value of approximately Rs 41,600. This shows that steel imports from Iran were at a discount of about Rs 5,250 per tonne, the letter to the steel ministry pointed out.