76% dip in iron ore exports industry jittery

PANAJI: Goa's mining industry is in a recessionary phase as the ore export have fallen by over 76% in the first two months of current season compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.

According to Goa mineral ore exporters association (GMOEA), the industry exported 2.84 million tonnes of iron ore in October-November last, but it came down to 0.68 million tonnes this year for the corresponding period.

"Buyers in China and Japan seek higher grade. Generally, Goa exports below 58 grade ore, which is exempted from export duty,'' a member of association said.

A source said that companies can improve upon grade through beneficiation plants, but it will not be feasible for them to export as it will attract 30% export duty.

Speaking to STOI, association secretary Glen Kalavampara said that the industry needs duty exemption of at least 60% to survive the current competition. He sought government intervention in this matter on a priority basis.

Industry had approached the Centre to do away with the export duty on ore of up to 60 grade, which is now 30%.

A source said that Goan ore is not useful for domestic consumption and even if it is bought by domestic steel industry, the transportation cost would be much higher and even surpass the expenses incurred on cargo export to China and Japan.

Goa faces a tough competition from countries such as Australia, Brazil, South Africa, Iran and Canada. During the peak year before the mining industry operations came to a halt owing to illegalities, Goa had exported nearly 50 million tonnes of ore.

In April 2014, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley had reduced the export duty for ore below 58 grade from 30% to 10% and not lumps. Subsequently, industry had made a representation to Jaitley to remove this ambiguity. In February 2016, he had exempted ore below 58 grade from export duty.

Source- Times Of India

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