India’s National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) raised prices of iron ore (65.53pc) lumps by Rs1,100/mt ($14.65/mt) and fines by Rs500/mt ($6.6/mt), effective April 14. This is the second price hike in April, the miner had earlier hiked lump prices on April 3.
Post the hike, NMDC’s iron ore lumps are priced at Rs6,950/mt ($92.6/mt) and fines at Rs5,060/mt ($67.4/mt), according to a company release. Higher iron ore prices in the international market and rising steel prices both in the domestic and overseas markets along with an increase in royalty prompted the miner to raise prices, as per market participants.
Earlier on April 3, NMDC raised iron ore lumps by Rs500/mt ($7/mt) and fines by Rs250/mt ($3/mt) to Rs5,850/ mt ($80/mt) and Rs4,560/mt ($62/mt), respectively. After a Rs 1,300/mt increase in the floor price of iron ore mined from their mines in the e-auction conducted by the Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) held on March 31. Prices are also up due to an increase in royalty by 22-23pc under the recent amendment to the MMDR Bill.
In the international market, iron ore prices have shot up to decade’s high on around $178/mt pushing up sponge iron and steel prices in India. Sponge iron prices in India (C-DRI, lump) are above their all-time high at Rs31,300/mt ($417.17/mt) ex-works Raipur, while sponge pellet (P-DRI, fine) priced at 30,500/mt ex-works.
NMDC is India’s biggest iron ore miner with around 35mn mt annual capacity at a 97pc utilization rate and aims to reach 100mn mt output by 2030. It has two mines in Chhattisgarh and one in Karnataka. Despite the pandemic, NMDC managed to produce 34.11mn mt iron ore in FY2021, which is up by 8.3pc from the prior year.