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Iron ore imports hit record on falling prices

INDIA’S iron ore imports surged to a record 6.76 million tonnes (mt) during the first seven months of the current fiscal, industry data showed. A drop in global prices, coupled with limited supply at home pushed steel producers to import the raw material.

The shortage deepened this year owing to closure of some mines in Odisha and Jharkhand, which were ordered to close after the expiry of licences.

Over the next three years, global seaborne iron ore supply is expected to grow by around 330 mt, while demand is set to rise by just 194 mt in the same period.

JSW Steel, India’s third largest steel producer, imported 4.6 mt of iron ore in the April-November period. The next big importer was Tata Steel, which sourced nearly 1 mt, according to industry consultancy SteelMint, which tracked shipments at 12 ports.

"Looking at the current scenario, it does not look like mining will resume soon in Odisha and Jharkhand. Imports are expected to hit 11-12 mt this financial year," said a senior official of SteelMint.

Source: Exim News Service: SINGAPORE, Dec. 8

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