shortage in the country at present. FIMI in a letter to SteelMinstry said “It appears that the scare of artificial scarcity of iron ore in the country is being projected by some of the primary steel producers for their vested interest. It is rather intriguing and surprising that steel companies are making hue and cry for shortage of iron ore. Against the annual total iron ore requirement of 165 million tonne, the domestic production is around 240 million tonne, thus the talk of scarcity is artificial.”
The letter added “Of the total 29 million tonne exports between April and September of the current fiscal, about 19 million tonne of ore were of lower grade which domestic steel companies do not use. Also, a majority of such exports were from the 163 million tonne stocks, as on March 31, 2019, lying at mine-heads.”
Indian domestic steel industry has been petitioning the government for imposing a ban on iron ore exports in view of the scarcity and spiraling price of the raw material. Last week, steel minister Dharmendra Pradhan said a short-term ban on iron ore exports is under consideration.
India exported 36.62 million tonne iron ore in 2019-20, up from 16.19 million tonne in 2018-19. Exports of iron ore were the highest in 2019-10 at 117.37 million tonne.