According to reports, this year, India’s export growth was likely to be represented by a single digit, and may end up at 9 million tons compared to 26 million tons in 2012.
Net imports are expected to rise to about 18 million tons in 2016 before domestic supply begins to rise.
A report in Business Today, quoting experts, stated that government policies may keep domestic prices under pressure in the short term. It said iron ore prices were likely to fall to US $90 a ton over the next five years as demand for the steelmaking ingredient falls and new supply hits the market.
The report also quoted Giriraj Daga, senior research analyst at Nirmal Bang Equities, as saying domestic iron prices had aligned with steel prices, and that international iron ore prices no longer had a bearing on Indian ore prices.
Many of those following the Indian iron ore market shared the opinion that Indian ore prices would remain weak and may decline by about 7 percent until the end of 2013.
India’s largest customer of iron ore, China, also the world’s largest importer of ore, had ordered 56.42 million tons of iron ore in February 2013, which was about 17 percent less on a year-on-year basis. A major chunk of the ore was exported from Goa.
Demand here, too, is fading, but some analysts said the ongoing growth recovery may expand its iron ore imports by about 5 percent a year till 2018.
But this is not really good news for the floundering Indian iron ore sector.