Mining ban lowers March iron ore exports by 61%
Softening global metal prices and continuing mining ban in the country pulled down India’s iron ore exports by a whopping 61 per cent to $63.84 million in March. The country earned $165 million by exporting iron ore in the same month of last year. India’s iron and steel imports, on the other hand, jumped 15 per cent to clock $1.22 billion in March from $1.06 billion a year ago.
The imports surged to a record last fiscal, keeping up the pressure on the domestic sector already reeling under squeezed margins. The industry has been pitching for an import duty hike for quite sometime now to correct the imbalance. Steel and Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has already written to the Finance Ministry on this issue. Once the world’s third-largest suppliers of iron ore, India has become a net importer over the last few years after a series of mining bans in mineral-rich states like Odisha, Goa and Karnataka. Analysts said iron ore prices dropped globally to all-time lows, with a high export duty of as much as 30 per cent only precipitating the matter.
Captive coal mine output rises by 34% in FY15
The coal production from captive mines more or less measured up to the government’s estimate, which stood at 52.9 million tonnes (MT) last fiscal. The output registered an increase of 34 per cent amid a widening gap between demand and supply of coal.
Coal production from the 42 producing captive mines was at 39.48 million tonnes in 2013-14, an official said.