NEW DELHI, June 6 (Reuters) - India's steel imports fell in May to their lowest level in at least 14 months, provisional government data showed, thanks to the country's efforts to cut cheap overseas purchases. India, the world's third-largest steel producer, imported 546,000 tonnes of finished steel last month, nearly 41 percent lower than the same month a year earlier, data from the Joint Plant Committee (JPC) of the steel ministry showed. The JPC website shows monthly steel import data since April 2015. In February, the government imposed a floor price on the import of 173 steel products and in March extended import taxes on some products until 2018. Last month, New Delhi imposed a provisional anti-dumping duty on seamless tubes, pipes imported from China. India has also begun looking into the possible dumping of cheap steel from China, as well as Japan and South Korea. Domestic steel makers including JSW Steel, Tata Steel and Kalyani Steels have been lobbying the government for more protectionist measures. Consumption of steel in India, the only major market where steel demand is growing, rose 3.8 percent in May while steel exports by Asia's third-largest economy rose 6.1 percent. The following table shows steel production as well as trade data. Figures are in million tonnes. Some numbers have been rounded up. FINISHED STEEL May 2016 Y/Y (pct) April 16-May 16 Y/Y (pct) Production for sale 8.28 -0.9 15.97 2.4 Import 0.55 -40.9 1.20 -29.3 Export 0.38 6.1 0.69 -11.7 Consumption 7.56 3.8 13.32 4.5 CRUDE STEEL PRODUCTION 7.83 2.1 15.47 1.9 (Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal. Editing by Jane Merriman)
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