Goa, a major iron ore-producing state, registered its highest exports from the mineral at its twin ports, the Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) and Panaji Minor Port, last financial year.
A total of 54.45 million tonnes (mt) of iron ore, a raw material that sees huge demand from the steel industry, was exported from Goan ports, of which 47.23 mt was of Goan origin and the rest was sourced from the neighbouring states of Karnataka and Maharashtra.
The Goa Mineral Ore Exporters Association (GMOEA), an umbrella organisation of ore exporters, have compiled the figures, which indicate that iron ore exports stood at an all-time high in the 2010-11 financial year.
About 46.84 mt of iron ore were exported from both the ports to various countries, including China, which accounted for more than 90 per cent of overseas consignments, followed by Japan.
The growing exports come at a time when there is a demand by environmentalists and political parties for imposition of an upper ceiling on the quantum of ore mined within Goa.
China, the main international buyer of India's iron ore produce, bought 48.93 mt of ore last financial year. The country surpassed India's traditional largest buyer, Japan, which purchased only 3.4 mt of ore from Goa during the 2010-11 financial year.
Consignments were also shipped from Goan ports to countries like South Korea, the UAE, Qatar, Pakistan, Thailand, Netherlands, Romania and Italy, but at a lower scale compared to the gigantic demand of China.