Small-scale secondary steel units have been forced to reduce production or shutter plants amid a hike in iron-ore and pellet prices, according to media reports.
In West Bengal, about five such units have shut down, while another 100-115 have reduced production by 15-50pc.
Around 500 units are involved in sponge iron production, re-rolling, and steel making in the state, through the induction furnace route. These units cite excessive losses as iron ore and pellet prices continue to soar amid rampant exports.
Secondary steel associations in states like West Bengal, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh have pleaded with the prime minister and steel ministry to levy a 50pc duty on pellets.
Pellet prices have soared from Rs4,500/mt in May 2020 to Rs15,000/mt in June 2021, according to the West Bengal Sponge Iron Manufacturers Association president, Shankar Lal Agarwal.
About 50,000 secondary steel MSMEs have plunged into losses despite the hike in steel prices, claimed officials.