Mumbai: Iron ore exports from India, the second largest supplier to China, may decline by as much as 20% this year because of a breakdown in loaders at two ports that account for half of the country’s exports of the commodity. An iron ore loader at the Paradip port in Orissa has been repaired after a month-long shutdown and the one in Goa will be restored by December, according to New Delhi-based Federation of Indian Mineral Industries.
Reduced exports from India may raise prices in China, which imports half of the world’s exported iron ore. Spot prices, set on a single cargo basis, rose as high as $185 (Rs7,270) a tonne on 28 September, according to Credit Suisse Group. That compares with this year’s benchmark Australian price for long-term contracts of $51.47.
“Prices are going through the roof and these breakdowns and other temporary problems push spot market prices higher,” said J. Mehra, chief executive officer of Essar Steel Holdings Ltd, which owns India’s third biggest steel maker.
India exported 93.79 million tonnes (mt) of iron ore in the year ended 31 March, less than the 100mt forecast by the government, after a tax on overseas sales of the material curbed demand. bloomberg