India's Steel Minister Mr Beni Prasad Verma said on Aug 29 that the government may further increase duties on iron ore exports from India. The Steel Minister told this the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Parliament of India, during question hour, as reported by India's media. India has just raised duties on iron ore exports from 5% to 20% this March. This additional duty hike is with the intention to discourage iron ore exports and to conserve them for domestic consumption. For the year ended March 2011, India produced 208.11 million tonnes of iron ore, of which 111.4 million tonnes was consumed domestically, indicating that nearly 100 million tonnes of iron ore was exported.|
Iron ore exporters in India are facing severer business environment. In July, the Supreme Court banned iron ore mining and transportation in Bellary region of Karnataka State and even domestic steel producers are having difficulties in sourcing raw materials.