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India can afford iron ore exports to China, says trade executive

India can afford iron ore exports to China, says trade executive
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First Published: Tue, Mar 27 2007. 09 44 AM IST
Updated: Tue, Mar 27 2007. 09 44 AM IST
Reuters
Guangzhou: India has enough iron ore to continue exporting to China despite a rapid expansion in India’s own steel industry, an ore mining and trading executive from the export-oriented Indian state of Goa said.
Amit Majumdar, managing director of ore trading firm Minmet Resources International, told Reuters he was hopeful to find a solution to India’s export tax on the mineral that has caused turmoil in trade between the two countries.
“There’s no problem in continuing exports. We have sufficient iron ore,” said Majumdar, who is also a board member of iron ore miner Dempo Group.
He said there were no takers within India for low-Fe content iron ore fines, which China had been buying.
“The Goan economy, to a large extent, depends on exports of iron ore and tourism. So if there are heavy export duties, it could be badly affected,” he added.
India, the number-three iron ore supplier to China, levied a Rs300-rupee-per-tonne export tax on the commodity at the beginning of this month in an attempt to preserve more of the resource for its domestic industry.
Iron ore traders have said more than 20 vessels were diverted to other destinations in the first week of March alone since the tax had raised Indian iron ore prices beyond those from Australia or even distant Brazil, the top two suppliers of iron ore to India.
“The trade should come back to normal. Exporters are talking to the government... There should be some solution in sight,” said Majumdar late on Monday on the sidelines of a conference organized by the China Steel and Iron Association.
“China would not like to bear these additional costs. But if Chinese demand warrants, some solution will have to be found. I don’t think exports will stop.”
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First Published: Tue, Mar 27 2007. 09 44 AM IST