A chorus of protests against Indian iron-ore exports — with associations of sponge iron and steel-forgings manufacturers making common cause with the India Steel Association (ISA) — has brought pressure on ministers to ban exports of iron ore.
Of those exports, 90% goes to China.
The groups are protesting in a bid to support domestic steel mills from rising raw material costs.
Ministers have refrained from taking action, arguing they would rather the market decide when it makes sense to export and when to import.
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Iron ore export ban?
However, a ban hardly seems necessary.
A massive 30% export tax kicks in this quarter on the lower Fe grade material between 58 to 62%. That is expected to decimate exports this quarter, the Business Standard reports.
In an effort to improve supply, the authorities have taken action against underused mining leases.
According to the New Indian Express, production declined during 2020. Comparing the two years January to September 2019 to the same period in 2020, iron ore production totaled 110.95 million metric tons in 2019. Meanwhile, output reached 76.01 million metric tons in 2020, marking a 31.5% drop.