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The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India has urged the Centre to reduce iron ore prices by about 25 per cent so that the domestic steel industry can become competitive.

“Asian economies like China, Japan and Korea have become more competitive and are exporting steel to India at throwaway prices due to drop in Platts Iron Ore Index thereby creating huge problem in India and posing threat to survival and sustainability of domestic steel industry,” the industry body said in a recent letter to Minister for Steel and Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.

The letter claimed that National Mineral Development Corporation, the country’s leading iron ore producer, was charging 25 per cent higher rates as compared to other iron ore miners based in Odisha because of which the domestic steel industry had been adversely impacted. It said though the state run miner had reduced the prices of iron ore lump and fines from January 2015 in line with the prices prevailing in Odisha as well as the international market, the rates being charged for iron ore fines were still higher.

“Suppliers from Odisha are offering 63 per cent Fe iron ore fines at the rate of Rs.2,150 per ton in comparison to Rs.2,340 (together with Rs.351 for royalty) charged by NMDC which is higher by about Rs.500-600 per ton,” Assocham said.

The letter highlighted that international iron ore prices had been falling continuously with a significant fall in prices witnessed last month.

“The Platts Index in global market has fallen from $63 per ton to $54 per ton i.e. by Rs.550 per ton approximately i.e. from March 1, 2015, to March 26, 2015,” it said.

India’s steel industry is presently reeling under severe pressure due to sluggish economic recovery and various other factors.

The Ministry of Steel said last month that the Supreme Court decisions with regard to mining lease renewal in Goa and Odisha and cancellation of mining leases in Karnataka had created regional shortage of iron ore but there was sufficient iron ore production in the country to meet the current demand of the steel industry.

Iron Ore
2013-14 (P)
2014-15 (P)
Up to December 2014
Reported Consumption
110.50 (E)

(P): Provisional (E): Estimated NA: Not Available
Source: Indian Bureau of Mines

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