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Exporters Body Seeks Aid of Ministry Over Rupee Steel Price

Date 18-Apr-2017
Subject Exporters Body Seeks Aid of Ministry Over Rupee Steel Price

EEPC India, the apex body of engineering exporters has approached the Commerce Ministry, saying that a sharp rise of more than 5% in the rupee against the U.S. dollar, along with a big increase in steel prices, is acting as a double whammy for engineering exporters in a highly competitive global market.

“Our members have brought to our notice two recent developments, affecting growth of engineering exports,” said EEPC India Executive Director and Secretary, B. Sarkar in a letter to the Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia. Sent on April 12, the letter said the Indian currency had appreciated against the U.S. dollar from Rs. 68 on January 02, 2017 to Rs. 64.4 on April 10 implying an appreciation of about 5.26% within a span of about three months.

“This sharp appreciation has come together with an increase in Indian steel prices from $582 per tonne in September 2016 (hot rolled coils) to $712 per tonne in March 2017,” highlighting an increase of about 22.5% in six months.

Normally, an appreciating rupee would have effected lower domestic prices especially of raw materials like steel. “However, what we find is a contradictory trend, which is immensely affecting the competitiveness of Indian engineering exports...,” a statement said.

The council has sought urgent attention of the government, as these developments are making it difficult for exporters to face international competition amid protectionist pressures.

“We seek your support in flagging these concerns and urge that engineering exporters be provided steel at the export prices of domestic steel companies”, the EEPC India said.

Source: Thehindu.com

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