Shanghai: State-owned Sinosteel Corp., one of China’s top iron ore traders, urged India on Friday to review its export tax for the mineral, which has caused turmoil in its trade.
In a statement sent to Reuters, Sinosteel said: “We hope Indian iron ore suppliers ... will execute iron ore sales contracts signed before March without changing original terms or prices.”
It also stressed both China and India could benefit from the trade, saying: “We hope India will not sacrifice the long-term trade relationship between the two countries for the sake of short-term interests.
“The Sino-Indian cooperation in iron ore should be built on the base of long-term, stable, secure win-win cooperation,” the company said.
On Wednesday last week, Indian announced it would levy an iron ore export tax of Rs300 per tonne, effective immediately, in a move to keep more of the raw material at home.
Chinese media reported some iron ore traders might boycott Indian iron ore in response to New Delhi’s decision.
A senior Indian industry official said India’s iron ore exports in the financial year starting April 2007 could drop by 50% because of the tax.
Industry officials in China said more than 20 vessels had been diverted away from India, with neither suppliers nor buyers willing to take the additional costs for the tax.
Official data showed China’s 2006 iron ore imports were 326.30 million tonnes, with India accounting for 74.78 million tonnes of the total, up 9.1% percent year-on-year.