Special Correspondent

Suspension of ore imports by China hits industry

NEW DELHI: The Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI), a representative body of mineral exporters, on Wednesday said the imposition of Rs. 300 a tonne export duty on iron ore has hit the industry badly as shipments from India are projected to decline by 33 per cent in March itself.

Joining issue with the steel manufacturers who have asserted that iron ore exports in March will increase by 34 per cent post-imposition of export duty, FIMI said China's decision to suspend ore imports from India had in fact resulted in a 33 per cent decline in March.

"India will export about 7.16 million tonnes of ore this month as compared to 10.57 million tonnes in the same month last year. The duty coupled with suspension of Indian ore imports by China, the single largest market for Indian ore, has impacted the industry drastically," FIMI Senior Vice-President Rahul Baldota said while addressing a press conference here.

FIMI contended that the miners are left with no option but to export fine ore.