Govt raises export duty on iron ore to 15%

Govt raises export duty on iron ore to 15%

New Delhi: Government has raised the export duty on iron ore lumps to 15 % from 10% previously, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said in parliament on Thursday, a move that could shrink China’s procurement from India.

The move is designed to make more of the steel-making raw material available for domestic steel makers, currently facing a shortage in ore supplies and firm prices as a result.

“Keeping in view the trend in the quantum of exports and domestic and international prices, the duty on iron ore lumps is being increased further to 15%," Mukherjee said, according to a copy of his speech made in the lower house of parliament.

Government last raised the duty on iron ore lumps in December to 10% from 5%, and on fines it imposed a 5% duty.

China, the world’s largest steelmaker, banks on India as its number three supplier after Australia and Brazil.

Latest data from China’s customs shows in March, India’s supplies were at 13.46 million tonnes, up 4.25% on year. In January to March, India’s supplies to China were at 33.26 million tonnes, down 2.4% on year.

The data from China also shows that so far this year, India has been ahead of Brazil, at number two position, in its iron ore supply to the north Asian giant.