Indian state-owned National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) has raised iron ore prices by Rs200/mt ($2.73/mt) for October deliveries. The company has been raising iron ore prices since July. The total price rise from July is Rs1,000/mt (13.67/mt) for both, lumps and fines.

After the revision, NMDC’s iron ore fines were priced at Rs3,160/mt ($43.21/mt) and lumps at Rs3,450/mt ($47.18/mt) effective Oct 8, according to a company release. These prices exclude royalty, permit fees, and other taxes.

 

The price rise is in-line with elevated global prices, lower availability in the domestic market, along with a healthy demand in September.

 

The monthly average of international iron ore fines (Fe 62pc) prices exported to China increased to $124/mt cfr in September, from $107/mt in July.

 

In the domestic market, a persisting shortage of iron ore on the back of increased exports and lower production of iron ore in Odisha gave prices a lift. Most merchant miners who were allotted blocks in January-February are yet to commence operations.  

But on Sept 15, the Karnataka state government has cleared applications allowing mining operations at Donimalai mines owned by NMDC. Mining operations at Donimalai are expected to begin in mid-October. Some private miners in Odisha could commence activities in the Oct-Dec 2020 quarter, which could end the uptrend in prices.

 

The rising prices have also impacted the Indian finished steel market. Primary mills have been increasing HRC prices since mid-July, and to date, prices have increased by Rs7,500-8,000/mt. Rising domestic consumption of flat steel also supported the increase.  

($1=73.12/mt)

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