Indian iron ore export volumes increased by 45% to 2.05 MnT in May'19 as against 1.42 MnT in Apr'19. On yearly basis, iron ore export increased significantly as against 0.79 MnT in the month of May'18. Iron ore exports from India have climbed to 13-months high as similar level of exports was last seen in Mar'18 at 2.63 MnT.
Why did Indian iron ore export volumes increase in May'19?
1. Increased Chinese demand of low & medium grade ore
SteelMint learned from the sources that traders and miners in Odisha booked decent quantities for export to China. In line with this, Chinese mills raised bids for low-grade Indian iron ore fines by USD 2-3. Fe 58/57% fines at around USD 72-73/MT, CFR China..
2. High Global prices :
The global iron ore fines index for Fe 62% picked up to USD 108/MT, CFR China during May'19, hovering five years high amid supply constraints from Vale, Brazil. This led to high realization in exports market.
3. Fall in iron ore inventory at Chinese Ports:
Iron ore inventory at major Chinese port fell to 124.9 MnT towards last weekend as against 133.6 MnT towards beginning of May'19. The port stock is expected to drop down to around 120 MnT by June'19. Amid low stock in China, mills continue buying expensive material to continue full-load operation.
4. Narrowing discounts of low-grade ore
Fortescue Metals Group - world's 4th largest iron ore producer had reduced iron ore discount for SSF (super special fines) to 11% in May'19 from 13% in Apr'19. Discount from the miner has dropped sharply from as high as 42% in Oct-Nov'18 to 33% in Feb'19, 16% in Mar'19,13% in Apr'19 and 11% in May'19. Also, SteelMint's assessment for low grade (Fe 57/58%) iron ore fines prices picked up to USD 72-73/MT, CFR China as against around USD 67/MT, CFR China towards beginning of the month.
Rungta turned out to be India's largest iron ore exporter
Rungta stood largest iron ore exporter in May'19 at 0.56 MnT, up significantly as against 0.12 MnT in Apr'19. SM Niryat stood second largest and its exports fell 25% to 0.33 MnT for the month. MMTC exports picked up 29% to 0.29 MnT
Other major exporters were Bagadiya Brother at 0.16 MnT, Kashvi power and Steels at 0.11 MnT.
India iron ore exports to China increased in May'19 amid supply crisis
China continued to be the largest importer of Indian iron ore in May'19 at 1.40 MnT., up by 23% against 1.13 MnT in Apr'19. Exports to Japan increased 45% to 0.22 MnT, followed by South Korea at 0.08 MnT.
Exports from Paradip port increased to almost twice in May'19
In May'19, Paradip port stood the largest exporter of Indian iron ore at 0.93 MnT, up 95% compared to 0.48 MnT in Apr'19. Vizag port stood second largest exporter at 0.33 MnT, followed by Mormugao at 0.24 MnT and Haldia at 0.22 MnT.