Iron ore exports slipped by little less than a fourth in the first two months of the current fiscal.
This is mainly due to the continuing ban on exports from Karnataka, which accounts for a third of the country's iron ore shipments.
Exports in April-May this fiscal stood at 17.2 million tonnes as against 22.7 mt in the corresponding period last year, according to provisional data collated by the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries .
from S. India
Ports in South India such as Belikeri, Chennai and Krishnapattinam, which exported over a million tonnes of iron ore in April-May last fiscal, saw no shipments of the commodity in the current year.
Other southern ports such as New Mangalore, Kakinada, Ennore, Karwar and Redi have also seen a sharp decline in exports.
Jump in E. Coast ports
However, some ports in East Coast such as Haldia, Paradip, Gangavaram and Vizag have seen a jump in exports as shipments from Orissa and Chhattisgarh were done from these ports.
Karnataka had banned exports in July last year to curb the rising menace of illegal mining in the State.
This had impacted the country's overall iron ore exports, which declined by 19 per cent to 95 mt in 2010-11.
For the current fiscal, the FIMI expects the shipments to decline by a fifth to 75 mt.
Apex court order
The Supreme Court, which had banned iron ore mining in Bellary district, on environmental grounds for a week towards end of July, recently allowed the state-owned NMDC to undertake mining in two leases to cater to the domestic steel companies.
The Court has directed that a macro-level environmental impact assessment study be undertaken by the Council of Forestry Research and Education in collaboration with the Wildlife Institute of India, the Forest Survey of India in consultation with the Ministry of Environment and Forests.