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PMAI asks govt to raise export duty on iron ore with more than 58% iron content

The PMAI’s argument is that export of 58 percent plus Fe iron ore without value addition needs to be discouraged
New Delhi: In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the Pellet Manufacturers Association of India (PMAI) has urged the government to raise export duty on iron ore with more than 58 percent iron content by 20 percent. The PMAI has sought “an increase in export duty on iron ore of +58 plus Fe content from current 30 percent to 50 percent.”

‘Export of +58% Fe iron ore needs to be discouraged’

The PMAI’s argument is that export of 58 percent plus Fe iron ore without value addition needs to be discouraged. It added that the use of technology can help India in meeting the shortfall of a required grade for steel making. PMAI President Manish Kharbanda pointed out in the letter that India has 85 mtpa of pellets and 115 MTPA of beneficiation capacity, the bulk of which is idling for want of iron ore at a reasonable price.

‘Iron ore with less than 62% Fe can be utilised by pellet makers’

Iron ore that contains less than 62 percent iron content is used for pellet manufacturing. Iron ore pellets are value-added products of leftover material or low-grade iron ore and are used in steel-making. This kind of iron ore can be utilised by pellet makers, said Kharbanda.

There’s a shortfall

PMAI pointed out that the domestic steel industry requires about 157 MT of 62 percent grade iron ore to produce 98 MT of crude steel in FY2017 but the production of such ore was only 127 MT. “The shortfall of 30 MT was met through blending 5.8 MT of high grade imported ore and beneficiation of below 62 percent grade iron ore,” the letter said. The industry body said that it fears that if export continues and is encouraged, it could have an adverse impact on India’s target to produce 300MT of steel by 2030.