Monthly Archives: August 2010

India: Finance Ministry rejects demand for hike in Iron ore export duty

August 30,



The Finance Ministry has rejected the Steel Ministry’s demand for a hike in the export duty on Iron ore. The Steel Ministry had suggested that the export duty on Iron ore lumps be hiked to 20 %, from the current 15 %.


Since the last duty change was effected only in April this year, the Government has decided not to make any change at this stage, official sources said.


The previous move was aimed at making available more Iron ore lumps, the steel-making raw material for domestic steel makers.


An export duty of 5 per cent was also imposed on Iron ore fines then. In the first four months of the current fiscal, Iron ore exports have increased 4.68 % to 32.86 MT compared with 31.39 MT in the same period a year ago.


However the recent ban by the Karnataka Government may partly impacted the country’s Iron ore export performance in July 2010. Iron ore exports in July 2010 were estimated at 4.74 MT (6.55 MT in July 2009).






Orissa Government orders closure of five mines

August 30,



The Orissa government has ordered closure of five mines including the Tata Steel and the Orissa Mineral Development Corporation (OMDC) mines, while issuing show cause to 14 other mines in Keonjhar district for violation of forest laws.


The mines, which have been asked to shut are the Katamati mines of Tata Steel, Belakundi mines of OMDC, BC Deb Iron ore and Manganese Mines, Thakurani Iron Ore and manganese mines of BPME and Jajanga mines of HG Pandya.


Show cause notices have been issued by the state forest department to 14 mines being operated by Tata Steel, MESCO, Sharada Mines, KJS Alluwalia , KMC, Kaypee Enterprises, RP Sao and OMC.


Responding to the order, Tata Steel officials said that the DFO of Keonjhar had issued a notice to stop all mining activities in the lease area of Katamati iron ore mines saying that the forest and non-forest areas have not been demarcated in the field.


“But we have clarified to the state government that we are mining only in the non-forest area of the lease. The forest and non-forest area of the lease has been clearly demarcated in the field. The same has been verified by forest officials and authenticated in the maps” 







Big rake handled at Paradip Port

August 30,



Paradip port has recently handled for the first time a full rake comprising 116 BOBR (bottom open bottom release) wagons against the normal rake of 58 wagons.


This means two normal rakes were joined to form a big rake. The big rake carried nearly 7,000 tonnes of thermal coal from Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd to the port for coastal shipment to Ennore port to meet the requirement of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board.


As many as three engines were deployed to run the big train. The East Coast Railway feels that operation of such a big train is advantageous on many counts. First, the rational utilization of line capacity (path); also there will be conservation of fuel and shorter turnaround time provided the rake is released timely at the port end.


Inquiries reveal that the delay in releasing the wagons is caused not so much by the port operations but by the presence of big size coal and boulders in the consignment. The mechanical plant can handle coal of a certain size, and boulders are out of question. Meanwhile, several other zonal railways too have begun started running similar big freight trains and empties.





India: Freight rate hits new high

August 30,



The global rush for grain imports together with growing demand from Chinese steelmakers pushed up the shipping freight to a 2 month high last week i.e. around $17 to 18/tonne. The Baltic Dry Index for Iron ore, Coal, Grains and Cement jumped 67% in just over a month after it slid to its lowest since early 2009.


Russia’s ban on grain exports will force consumers in West Asia and North Africa to get supplies from elsewhere, thus, creating demand and putting pressure on freight.


At the same time, Capesize rates have doubled in less than a month after purchase of Iron ore by Chinese steelmakers, the main driver of Capesize vessel rates, have picked up. As a cumulative effect of all this, traders expect a seasonal increase in demand for Grain and Iron ore till the fourth quarter.


But some analysts have warned that the rally could be short-lived. The freight rate is determined by free interplay of market forces. As demand increases, supply will also increase. According to one estimate, the global fleet of Capesize vessels is to rise by 20% in 2010 and 2011, but the seaborne trade, and therefore, the freight is not expected to rise anywhere near this.


Source: The Business Line




Steel, Iron, and Chrome ore prices may rise

August 28,



The recovery in industrial activities in US, EU, China, Japan, India, Russia and Brazil is good news for the Steel, Iron and Chrome ore sector. This is also evident from the increase in steel production from the lows of last year. 


The President of Albanian Minerals in NY, USA and Bytyci SHPK Tropoje said that “Globally, the demand for Steel, Iron and Chrome ore has improved partly due to recovery in industrial activities in US, EU, China, Japan, India, Russia and Brazil. 


“Most of the inventories of metals were depleted and people are once again buying metals, Copper, Steel, Chrome ore, Iron, Coal, Aluminum, and Nickel to build their inventories led by marginal recovery seen in the end user industries.”


Prices are not expected to move up fast as demand is yet to pick up on a sustainable basis. Steel companies also believe that only if Chrome ore, Coking coal and Iron ore prices move up sharply then prices will move higher. 


Source: The Wall Street Journal




India: Steel prices might go up in September

Aug 27,


Indian Steel prices might go up in the month of september according to Steel Authority of India.


Indian steel market have been sluggish for past few months due to poor demand and monsoon season.


According to Steel Authority steel market looks better in the month of september due better demand and high raw material prices of Iron ore and coal in the international market.


Currently steel prices in India are hovering around Rs 30,000/MT (Rebar) and Rs 35,000-36,000/MT (HRC).


Reported by: Richa Sharma (


India: Karnataka lifts ban on ore transportation to Goa

August 27,



Karnataka has lifted the ban on heavy vehicles carrfrom entering district highways. This will benefit six steel plants in Goa which are- Aparant Iron & Steel, Sesa Industries, Shradha Ispat, Ambey Metallic, Goa Sponge and Power and Shrithik Ispat.


The decision was taken at a meeting in Karwar convened by the North Kannara district deputy commissioner with directors of affected Goa steel plants on Thursday. 


Confirming this, industries committee chairman of the Goa Chanber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) Manguirish Pai Raikar said, “We had a meeting with the district commissioner of North Kannara district on Thursday. We convinced him that six pig iron plants in the state consume raw material from Karnataka and do not export it. After being convinced of the same, the authorities have permitted heavy vehicles carrying ore to these six units registered with GCCI from entering district highways.” 


GCCI had prepared a list of these six pig iron plants in Goa which use high grade iron ore from Karnataka as raw material. It also prepared statistics of how much ore is purchased, how it is used for production and not for export and submitted the same to authorities in Karnataka.





India: Decision on transportation of Iron ore to Goa criticized

August 28,




The decision of the Uttara Kannada district administration to allow Iron ore lorries carrying ore to Goa to pass through the district has created an uproar.


It has been criticized by Madhav Naik, General Secretary of North Karnataka Lorry Owner’s Association. He said the Government had banned ore transport within the State. Even transportation of ore to Mangalore has been banned by the Uttara Kannada district administration.


When the lorry owners met the Chief Minister and convinced him that more than 5 lakh families are affected by the ban, he had expressed helplessness and asked them to choose an alternative business.


But when the Goan industrialists requested the Chief Minister he has agreed to allow ore transportation.


N. Datta, President of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, said that the Government is bending over backwards to please a few industrialists in Goa. He demanded that inter-State transportation should not be allowed till the Lokayukta completed its investigation. Mr. Madhav Naik and Mr. Datta said that a meeting to discuss the issue will be called soon.






Brazil: After Rio Tinto & BHP now it’s Vale to cut Iron ore prices

August 28,




Brazilian mining giant Vale, the world’s biggest Iron ore producer, says it will cut its prices of the mineral by 10% in October.


The decision, made as part of a quarterly revision of market prices, comes after a fall in demand in China, the top global customer, a company spokesman told on Friday.


It is believed that near about 20% of the world’s steel is made with Vale’s Iron ore, and the price cut will have an impact on European and Asian economies.


Nevertheless, Vale’s revenues from sales of the mineral this year could still be more than double what it was last year, around $30 billion.