Aluminium association cautions government of high imports

Last Updated: Thu, May 23, 2019 12:10 hrs
FILE PHOTO: A worker walks through an aluminium ingots depot in Wuxi

New Delhi: The Aluminium Association of India (AAI) on Wednesday raised, with the government, its concerns of high imports of the material to the country as well as presence of China in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

"The sustainability of Indian aluminium industry has been adversely impacted by the increasing imports and declining domestic market share," the AAI said in its letter to the Commerce Ministry.

Despite having "sufficient domestic capacity" of 4.1 million tonne per annum (mtpa), almost 60 per cent of the country's demand is met through imports, it said, noting that the majority of the aluminium imports into India are coming under Free Trade Agreements (FTA).

The imports from ASEAN countries under FTA are majorly of Chinese origin, which takes advantage of the agreements, it said.

It further said that "the presence of China in RCEP is the biggest threat for the Indian aluminium industry". Negotiations for the RCEP includes China and the ASEAN counties.

"The presence of China is a severe threat which wil worsen India's trade deficit, adversely affecting the Indian aluminium industry. China is the largest producer and exporter of aluminium products, with aluminium production capacity of 47 million MT (metric tonne) and surplus aluminium capacity of around 10 million MT."

The suggestions come ahead of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership bloc's negotiators on May 24 with an aim to conclude the mega trade agreement this year.