Indian iron ore export shipments spikes by more than 85% in FY'21

Posted on 07 April 2021

Indian iron ore export shipments were recorded at 46.45 mn t in FY’21, registering a steep spike as compared with 25.08 mn t in FY’20, according to vessel line up data maintained with SteelMint.

The tailwind behind the surging Indian iron ore exports:

  • Higher global prices: The yearly average global iron ore fines (Fe 62%) prices increased to $126/t CFR China in FY’21 as against $95/t CFR China in FY’20. Also, the prices were hovering as high as $178/t, CNF China towards the beginning of Mar’21.Steep hike in futures and robust steel demand in China drove prices up.
    SteelMint’s assessment for Indian low grade iron ore export prices (Fe 57%) increased to $78/t, CNF China in FY’21 as compared to $63/t, CNF China in FY’20.
  • Odisha miners liquidated stocks:Odisha based miners remained active in liquidating their low-grade ore stocks. Iron ore exports from Odisha increased as nineteen iron ore mining leases which were put up for auction were busy liquidating their inventories.
  • Material availability crisis: The concerns over corona virus have been impacting the Brazilian supplies of iron ore cargoes amid rising COVID-19 cases at the iron ore mine in Itabira Brazil, owned by Vale. Also, Vale reduced its CY’20 production guidance to 300-305 mn t as against 310-330 mnt set previously. Port maintenance activities at Australian port towards the year end too affected iron ore supplies.
  • Low grade iron ore exports continue from Goa:Fresh mining at Goa continues to remain at hold, however, old stocks are getting exported. Goan govt. organized 24th iron ore e-auction on 10th Nov’20 for quantity of about 3 mn t, which received bids for 37% (i.e 1.10 mn t) of total offered quantity. In 23rd Goan iron ore e-auction held on 27th May’20 ,out of total 2.49 mn t, only 7% (i.e 0.17 mn t) of total material put to auction received bids.

Indian iron ore export shipments to China up in FY’21:China continued to remain the largest importer of Indian iron ore for the fiscal year FY’21 at 43.49 mn t, up almost two folds against 22.45 mn t in FY’20. Japan stood second largest importer at 2.06 mn t followed by South Korea at 0.52 mn t.

Rungta mines remained the largest exporter in FY’21:Rungta mines was the largest iron ore exporter at 10.45 mn t in FY’21, up 75% as against 5.97 mn t in FY’20. SM Niryat was the second-largest exporter at 5.18 mn t, followed by Kashvi Power and Steel at 2.47 mn t and MMTC (which exports on behalf of NMDC) at 2.25 mn t.

Shipper-wise India iron ore export FY’21 v/s FY’20

Qty in mn t, Provisional data,
Source: SteelMint Research, Customs

Port wise Indian iron ore exports
In FY’21, Paradip port accounted for 35% of annual exports at 16.22 mn t (up 47% y-o-y) followed by Vizag port at 7.91 mn t and Mormugao port at 6.80 mn t.

Outlook:Indian iron ore export shipments for low grade ore may slow down slightly next month due to new production curbs announced in the city of Tangshan.The continued stricter production curbs in China’s Tangshan region may dampen buying interest for low grade ore and high grade ore/pellets may remain a preference.

Source : SteelMint