India to become a major iron ore importer
India is likely to import 10 million tonnes (mt) in FY15, over three times its previous record of 3 mt in FY13.
According to a Federation of Indian Mineral Industries’ survey, the increase in imports can be attributed to unstable domestic production, an increase in royalty rates and lower prices in the global market. Domestic production has been steadily declining from a high of 220 mt in FY10 to 150 mt in FY14. According to a senior FIMI official, imported ore has less alumina and silica, meaning steel mills end up using lesser coke and fuel and achieve 20 per cent higher recovery of steel.
“It is for this reason the steel sector might increase imports. Spot prices are $ 90 a tonne and analysts say these will go down $ 5-10 a tonne by January,” he said.