India becomes net importer as punitive iron ore export tax is extended

India's 30% duty on exports of iron ore levied since December 2011 is staying in place.

Platts News reports India's finance minister made the announcement presenting the country's 2013-2014 budget on Thursday.

The tax to discourage exports and a ban on mining in two key producing states Karnataka, Goa and Orissa over corruption and illegal mining will see India ship less than 4 million tonnes this year.

That is down from 120 million tonnes in 2009 and 30 million tonnes last year and the country – once the globe's third largest exporter – will in fact become a net importer of the steelmaking raw material this year.

India disappearance as an exporter helped the price of ore recover from 3-years lows of $87 set in September to today's price of just over $150.

But African and Russian miners are jumping to fill that gap and expansion in China, Australia, Brazil is expected to more than make up India's shortfall.

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Image of Meenakshi Temple in Madurai, India by saikop3 – Shutterstock.