India monitoring steel import situation - govt official

A worker observes an electric furnace inside a steel factory on the outskirts of Jammu

By Neha Arora

NEW DELHI (Reuters) -India is monitoring steel imports after shipments from China touched a five-year high in the first four months of the fiscal year that began in April, the country's steel secretary told Reuters on Monday.

During April-July, China was the second-biggest steel exporter to India, after South Korea, selling 0.6 million metric tons, up 62% from the same period a year earlier.

India's domestic steel industry has raised concerns over potential dumping by Chinese sellers.

"We are monitoring the situation on imports and we have apprised the commerce ministry," Nagendra Nath Sinha, the steel secretary, told Reuters.

Separately, a senior official in the ministry said some exporters had sold their surplus into the local market due to subdued demand overseas, contributing to a fall in prices domestically.

India, the world's second-biggest crude steel producer, exported 2.6 million metric tons of the alloy during April-July, down 0.3% on year. The country, however, was a net exporter of finished steel.

(Reporting by Neha Arora in New Delhi; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Sharon Singleton)