Indian iron ore imports for the fiscal FY'21 was recorded at 0.38 mn t, dropping significantly by 68% as against 1.21 mn t in FY'20.
Why Indian iron ore imports fell in FY'21?
- Costlier imports: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.
Also, SteelMint's assessment of imported South African lump prices was recorded at $ 139/t, CNF India as against $ 110.8/t, CNF India in FY'20.
- Global material availability crises: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 Indian imports of iron ore.
- Preference to domestic ore & pellets:Cheaper availability of domestic iron ore & pellets attracted mills over imports. The yearly average of SteelMint's Odisha iron ore fines.5-18mm (Fe 63%) lump stood at INR 6,180/t ex-mines Odisha (including royalty, DMF & NMET) in FY'21 vis-a-vis INR 4,060/t in FY'20.
AM/NS India stood largest importer in FY'21:AM/NS India was the largest importer for the fiscal FY'21 at 0.16 mn t followed by JSW Steel at 0.08 mn t.
India's iron ore imports from South Africa fell 71% y-o-y:South Africa stood the largest iron ore exporter to India for the fiscal year FY '21 at 0.14 mn t, down 71% as against 0.51 mn t in FY20.Ukraine stood second largest exporter at 0.10 mn t and Finland at 0.08 mn t. Iron?ore?Imports from Brazil reported nil in FY'21.
Indian pellet imports up in FY'21:Indian pellet imports in FY'21 was witnessed at 387,873 t as against 53,800 t in FY'20 with AM/NS India being the sole importer. The entire import volumes were from Bahrain.