The Indian Ministry of Steel today extended the enforcement date of its mandatory quality regime on six products — including ferro-silicon and ferro-nickel — by three months to 23 October, providing relief to alloy importers and consumers.
News of the extension came a day before the previous deadline of 23 July. This is the second time the deadline has been extended this year, as visa and travel restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have slowed the registration process.
Market participants had expected another extension as importers would have been forced to sell their products elsewhere, and supplies to Indian steel manufacturers would have been disrupted.
Products notified in India's steel and steel products quality order cannot be produced, sold, traded, imported and stocked unless they bear the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) mark. Domestic products manufacturers have to obtain BIS certification, while foreign suppliers must obtain BIS registration.
The Indian steel ministry recently added ferro-silicon with an Si content of more than 55pc for compulsory certification. Over the past three years, India has imported almost 200,000 t/yr of such material, mainly from Bhutan, China and Malaysia. Between April 2019 and March 2020, India imported 185,790t of ferro-silicon, down from 188,195t a year earlier. Shipments from Bhutan increased by 21.5pc to 125,367t over the same period, whereas Chinese imports dropped by 1.3pc to 24,965t from last year, official data show. Domestic ferro-silicon production stood at 90,000t in 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18.