With the shortage of iron ore stressing steelmakers, the Indian Steel Association, an apex body representing primary and secondary mills has sought a ban on exports of iron ore.
Amid a change in mine leases and increased exports, mainly to China, a supply crunch in the domestic market has caused iron ore prices to rise.
The ISA has written to the Prime Minister’s office, seeking intervention from the commerce ministry for raw material security measures.
Indian iron ore production in April-July 2020, declined by around 50pc from the prior-year period. Exports, however, rose by 63pc amid bullish demand in China. In FY2019-20, iron ore exports were 37.69mn mt from 16.15mn mt in 2018-19.
State-owned miner NMDC also reported a fall of 9pc in the ore production in April-Sept to 12.24mn mt compared to the last year.
Sponge manufacturers bore the brunt of the resulting rise in prices as their input costs increased.
The Davis Index for Sponge iron rose by Rs1,600/mt ($21.78/mt) to Rs20,100/mt del Durgapur from Oct1 until date.