Exports of iron ore declined 22.56 per cent in July due to the ban on mining activities in Karnataka - India’s largest producing state.
Data compiled by the apex trade body, the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (Fimi), said the overall iron ore shipment from India fell to 3.62 million tonnes (mt) in July this year as against 4.68 mt in the corresponding month last year.
Total shipment outside India, between the first four months of the current financial year, plunged 21.9 per cent to 25.3mt as compared to 32.4mt in the corresponding period last year.
If the trend continues, total exports for the current financial year would be less than 80 mt as compared to 95 mt in 2010-11 and 117 mt in 2009-10, said R K Sharma, secretary general, Fimi.
Karnataka accounts for nearly 33 per cent of high grade ore production (lumps with over 63.5 per cent of Fe content) in India. A majority of lumps exported to countries like Japan and Korea (nearly 15 per cent of overall shipment) are mined in Karnataka.
The Supreme Court, in a July order, had banned all mining in Bellary in Karnataka to curb illegal mining. Karnataka has banned transportation of the mineral for export purposes since July last year.
Exports fell from almost all major ports in the southern region due to subdued supply from Karnataka, which accounts for a fourth of total iron ore export. However, shipments rose from ports in Vizag, Moramugao, Paradip, Panjim and Gangavaram during the four months.