OREANDA-NEWS. Steel sales at private-sector Indian producer JSW Steel fell by 11.4pc in April-June from the previous quarter, as buyers were reluctant to build stocks ahead of the implementation of the country's goods and services tax (GST) on 1 July.

JSW Steel sold 3.51mn t of steel products in the latest quarter, down from 3.96mn t in January-March. Sales were 5pc higher compared with a year earlier.

"The quarter was marked by industry-wide destocking, especially for long products and sales through the trade channel," said JSW. It did not give any sales projections for July-September.

The GST system puts in place flat domestic tax rates, replacing a mix of excise duties, inter-state border taxes and state taxes. The new system is designed to make tax administration simpler and less time-consuming, allowing for smoother trade between states. But the hurried implementation and confusion about tax rates on some products may have hurt some businesses, especially small and medium-size enterprises.

JSW Steel boosted exports by 26pc in April-June compared with a year earlier to compensate for slower domestic sales. It did not give an actual figure for exports. The company's inventory increased more quickly than usual in the latest period.