Saturday, August 19, 2017

Steel consumption up 3.7% in July

Kolkata: India's steel consumption in July rose by 3.7 per cent to 6.905 million tonnes (mt) over corresponding month last year and exports in the last month grew by 64 per cent, the Steel Ministry's latest report said on Saturday.

"Overall consumption in July at 6.905 mt was down by 4.2 per cent over June 2017 but was up by 3.7 per cent over July 2016," the report of the ministry's Joint Plant Committee (JPC) said.

India's consumption of total finished steel at 27.911 mt saw a growth of 4.4 per cent in April-July period over same period of last year, under the influence of rising production for sale and imports.

Exports of total finished steel increased by 65.5 per cent to 2.807 mt in April-July 2017 over same period of last year and overall exports at 0.77 mt in July only was up by 19 per cent over the previous month but grew by 64 per cent over year-ago month.

However, import of total finished steel at 2.505 mt in the first four months of the current fiscal grew by 4.7 per cent over same period of last year.

"Overall imports in July 2017 at 0.798 mt was up by 24 per cent over June 2017 and was up by 42.2 per cent over July 2016," the report said.

India was a net importer of total finished steel in July 2017 and maintained its net exporter status in the first four months of the current fiscal.
India Steel Exports Imports 

India’s gem and jewellery exports slip 23.61% in July

In July 2017, India’s gem and jewellery exports dropped 23.61 percent to US$ 2.42 billion, from US$ 3.17 billion in the same month in 2016, reports say. Cut and polished diamonds exported reached a value of US$ 1.645 billion (US$ 1.651 billion in July 2016). Imports of cut and polished diamonds slipped 8.4 percent to US$ 227.9 million while in July 2016 they stood at US$ 248.88 million.
Rough diamond imports valued US$ 1.33 billion following a 6.1 percent dip (US$ 1.41 billion in July 2016). The said imports in July 2017 were 13.7 million carats or a 16 percent increase from 11.8 million carats imported in July ‘16.

Exports of coloured gemstone rose to US$ 12.1 million (US$ 10.38 million in the comparative month of 2016).

Gold jewellery (both studded and plain), exports witnessed almost a 32 percent drop to US$ 411.37 million from US$ 602.04 million in the previous year. Gold medallions and coins exported in July 2017 slipped from US$ 435.9 million in July 2016, to US$ 58.7 million in July this year. Silver jewellery exports also dropped from US$ 336.41 in July 2016 to US$ 185.93 million in July 2017, reports suggest.
India’s gem and jewellery exports

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

India bans exports of gold products above 22 carats

(Reuters) - India has banned the export of gold products with a purity above 22 carats in a move a trade group said was a bid to curb a practice known as "round tripping".

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade issued a notification dated Aug. 14 that stated exports of jewellery or medallions, containing gold of 8 carats and above up to a maximum limit of 22 carats shall only be permitted, without giving a reason.

"Round tripping to Dubai will come down due to the move," an official with India Bullion and Jewellers Association Ltd said. A trader, via round tripping, can import gold products at a lower import tax and re-export the same stock without any value addition.
The ban affects jewellery, including partly processed jewellery, coins and medals.

"Until now, traders only had to pay a lower import tax – or no tax at all – on gold jewellery and gold coins so long as they re-exported the gold," Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch said in a note.

"This may also be an attempt by the authorities to prevent the current account deficit from widening again after Indian gold imports rose sharply in recent months."

India's gold imports in July nearly doubled from last year to $2.1 billion, while the country's trade deficit narrowed to $11.45 billion in July from a month ago, following a slowdown in merchandise imports.
Exports of Gold Products

India is the world's No. 2 consumer of gold behind China, with many saving their money in gold, using it to hedge against inflation and for gifts at special occasions. The country imports about 800 tonnes of gold a year.

Spot gold fell on Wednesday for the third straight day as the dollar edged higher on the back of robust U.S. economic data and an easing in tensions over North Korea.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Gold imports jump over two-fold to $13.35 billion in April-July

New Delhi: India’s gold imports more than doubled to $13.35 billion during the April-July period of the current fiscal, according to the data of the commerce ministry.

Gold imports, which has bearing on the country’s current account deficit (CAD), stood at $4.97 billion in April-July 2016-17.

In July this year, imports of the precious metal rose to $2.10 billion from $1.07 billion in the same month of the previous year.

Surge in gold imports in July contributed to the widening of trade deficit to $11.44 billion as against $7.76 billion in July 2016.

The rise in imports assumes significance as India is recording surge in the inbound shipments of the precious metal from South Korea, with which India has implemented a free trade agreement since 2010.

Officials have stated that the government is contemplating steps to check the surge in imports from that country.

Gold imports from South Korea has jumped to $338.6 million during 1 July – 3 August this year. The import in 2016-17 stood at $470.46 million.

Under the free trade pact between India and South Korea, basic customs duty on gold was eliminated.

Further, the 12.5% countervailing duty on gold imports has been subsumed in the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Accordingly, imports now attract only 3% integrated GST.

Under the FTA with South Korea, the government has recently notified rules for investigation of safeguard duties.

Countries impose this duty to discourage imports of a product. India is the world’s second biggest gold consumer after China.

The imports mainly take care of demand by the jewellery industry. At present, gold import attracts 10% duty.

The gems and jewellery industry along with the commerce ministry have time and again urged the finance ministry to consider a cut in the import duty.

India's trade deficit narrows to $11.45 billion in July

NEW DELHI: India's export grew by 3.94 per cent on a yearly basis to USD 22.54 billion in July on account of rise in shipments of petroleum, chemicals and marine products, official data released today showed.

Import too rose by 15.42 per cent to USD 34 billion in July from USD 29.45 billion in the year-ago month due to rise in inward shipments of crude oil and gold.

A rise in gold import shot up the country's trade deficit to USD 11.44 billion in the month under review from USD 7.76 billion in July 2016, the data released by the commerce ministry showed.

Gold import increased by 95 per cent to USD 2.10 billion in July against USD 1.07 billion in the same month last year.

Oil import was valued at USD 7.84 billion in July, an increase of 15 per cent over the same month in 2016.

Cumulative export during April-July of 2017-18 rose by 8.91 per cent to USD 94.75 billion while import increased by 28.30 per cent to USD 146.25 billion, leaving a trade deficit of USD 51.5 billion. 

Indian import for Iraqi oil increased in July

BAGHDAD: Oil import from Iraq has risen to 31.5% for India in July from a month ago, shipping data showed, allowing the country to retain the top supplier spot for the fourth consecutive month amid declines from sellers such as Venezuela and Iran.
According to ship tracking data, India took 954,400 barrels per day (bpd) of Iraqi oil in July compared with 725,800 bpd in June.
India’s July imports from Iraq are also nearly 50 percent higher than volumes imported in the same month last year, the data showed.
The spike in Iraqi imports comes amid a slump in Venezuelan crude shipments, which fell 31.1 percent from June to 337,100 bpd in July. Venezuelan crude exports have declined as it struggles to secure the light oil needed to dilute its heavy crude grades for export.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan seeks curbs on onion export to keep prices in control

Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said that he has asked Commerce Ministry to withdraw the incentive and impose higher minimum export price (MEP) on onion export to ensure adequate availability in the domestic market, which will help keeping prices in control.

"Commerce Ministry has been requested to withdraw the incentive on export of onion for adequate availability of onion for domestic consumption (It) has been requested for imposition of MEP of USD 450/ MT on onion in order to keep the prices of onion under control," he said in a tweet on Friday.

Poduction of onion this year is about 215 lakh tonnes while it was 209 lakh tonnes last year, said Paswan, while blaming hoarders and middlemen for the hike in the price of onion.