State owned MMTC to ink ore export deal with POSCO

Chairman and Managing Director of the company Vijaylaxmi Joshi will visit Tokyo and Seoul next month to sign contracts

State-owned trading giant MMTC next month will sign iron ore supply contracts with Japanese and South Korean steel companies including Posco, for a period of three years.

“An official delegation headed by MMTC Chairman and Managing Director Vijaylaxmi Joshi will visit Tokyo and Seoul next month to sign contracts with five Japanese companies and one South Korean company,” sources told PTI.

Last month, the Cabinet had approved export of iron ore by MMTC to Japanese and South Korean steel mills for three more years. The supply contract will be for a period of three years and shipments are expected to start from July 2012, sources said.

“The state-owned unit will supply 3 million tonne (MT) of iron ore per annum to 5 Japanese companies including Nippon Steel Corporation, JFE Steel Corporation and Nisshin Steel,” they added.

Besides, MMTC will supply one MT of iron ore yearly to South Korean major Posco, they said.

The supply of iron ore, although in smaller quantities, has been a core element in the bilateral ties with Japan and South Korea and would further strengthen the relations, they added.

MMTC would supply iron ore (lumps and fines) of grade (plus) 64 Fe, or high grade content, to Japanese and Korean steel mills from country’s largest iron ore miner NMDC’s Baildila mines in Chhattisgarh.

MMTC’s earlier contract to supply iron ore for five years to Japanese and Korean steel mills had expired on March 31, 2011 and since then it was pending as price negotiations has not taken place.

India, the third-largest global exporter of iron ore, had exported 97.64 MT iron ore in the 2010-11, down from 117.3 MT in 2009-10 while the figure for the just-concluded fiscal is estimated at about 60 MT on account of less production due to ban in Karnataka.

India’s iron ore exports are likely to decline to 50 MT in the current fiscal, as per the miners’ body FIMI’s estimates.

Iron ore shipments from Karnataka, a major exporter of the raw material from the country, have been stopped since July, 2010, following allegations of widespread corruption.

Also, the exports were impacted after the government had hiked the export duty on iron ore to 30% in December last year from 20%.

Freight on iron ore for domestic consumption was increased by 20% early in March while the rates were reduced by 16% on ore exports.

[Source – Business Standard]

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