Panaji: Just ten days before the start of iron-ore export season in the state, Goan exporters are struggling with the dearth of port infrastructure and the tax on exports, factors that are likely to skim off 15% of projected export figures this year.
Goa, India’s largest iron-ore exporting state, trades 40.53 million tonnes of ore through its two ports. Of this, 30.89 million tonnes is produced in Goa alone. China, which imports 30.27 million tonnes, is a big market for the ore shipped from Goan shores.
“There are various reasons why exports might dip. Export tax to the tune of Rs300 a tonne is one,” K Shridhar, executive director, Goa Mineral Ore Exporters’ Association told PTI.
The state exports ore through its two ports — Mormugao port trust (MPT) and Panaji port. These port also facilitates ore-export from neighbouring Karnataka.
Iron-ore exporters see a bleak scenario once the season starts after ten days. Exports usually come to almost halt in May and re-start on 15 September due to monsoons.
Adding to the worries, one of the two ship-loaders at berth number nine at MPT is out of order. The berth contributes for major exports as out of 26 million tonnes exported from MPT last year, berth number nine had 12 million tonnes ore being exported from it.
“The breakdown is surely going to affect the exports. We have requested the port to get it repaired as fast as possible,” Sridhar said expecting the loader to be functional by December, this year.