Steel industry wants cap on iron ore exports

Steel industry wants cap on iron ore exports

The steel industry will press the government for a cap on iron ore exports at 90 million tonne a year, forced by the unavailability of iron ore in the country.

Steel industry representatives are set to take up the issue with the government during the upcoming Group of Minister’s meeting in Delhi on May 28.

Officials said the steel industry would ask the government to restrain iron ore export to conserve the mineral for domestic steel industry whose demand is increasing.

“There will be no impact on the employment and current investments (if these steps are taken). It will also help achieving equilibrium between production and domestic consumptions,” said the steel representatives, who would make a detailed presentation to the Home Minister Shivraj Patil-headed GoM, which would be reviewing the National Mineral Policy, 2007.

The industry has rejected the Anwarul Hoda Committee’s recommendation of unrestricted export of iron ore, which the industry believes was “unwarranted”.

Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) report says that India has only 15.5 billion tonne of iron ore resources, which would entirely be consumed by 2034-35.

In another report prepared by National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) calculated that resources of high and medium grade of iron ore might not last more than 19 years.

India has been exporting 100 million tonne of iron ore each year to China and Japan. Steel industry experts say India’s competitive advantage lies in the country’s own iron ore availability.

“While China conserves its coking coal reserves, India exports its iron ore reserves,” an official said.

China has a capacity of 450 million tonne of steel against India’s 50 million tonne and it has large reserves of cocking coal while India has none.

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