India mining secretary said that India's iron ore exports will recover from this year's depressed levels but will not rise above 100 million tonnes as a crackdown on illegal sales pays off. Mr Vishwapati Trivedi said stricter controls of mining were helping determine the natural level of export his euphemism for legal sales in the long run from the world's third biggest supplier, whose major customer is China.
Mr Trivedi told Reuters in an interview said that "Natural export level is actually an outcome of all this. There will be an export level which ... will be between where we were last year and where we are this year.” Traders have already slashed forecasts for 2011/12 exports from India to around 50 million tonnes, about half last year's figure, dropping it below South Africa in the export rankings. The fall will come after the Supreme Court banned mining in some areas and the government hiked export taxes to crush illegal sales.
In 2010/11, India exported 97 million tonnes of iron ore and has exported about 100 million tonnes a year for several years, mainly to China. But Trivedi said those figures may have included illegal ores. He said that "Natural export level would be over a set of several years when you have got everything going fine, no illegal exports, then you assess the natural levels.”
(Sourced from Reuters)