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India iron ore exports in Aug fall 43.4 pc: Federation of Indian Mineral Industries

Iron ore exports in August from India, the world's third biggest exporter, fell 43.4 per cent on year to 2.65 million tonnes, data from a trade body showed, as monsoon dented shipments and there were no exports from a key state even after lifting of a ban.

Exports in the first five months of the fiscal year to August fell 24.38 per cent to 28.02 million tonnes, the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) said in a statement.

The southern state of Karnataka, which accounted for a quarter of shipments before a ban was imposed, registered zero exports on delayed efforts by the government to re-start shipments despite a Supreme Court order in April.

Exports from Vishakapatnam port in Andhra Pradesh state rose 934,000 tonnes in August from 855,000 tonnes a year ago, while those from West Bengal's Haldia rose to 422,000 tonnes from 404,000 tonnes. Other ports witnessed a fall.

Exports from Orissa's Paradip port fell 0.54 million tonnes from 1.268 million tonnes, while those from Goa fell 389,000 tonnes from 681,000 tonnes

High export tax and rising freight rates also weighed on shipments. India, in February, had raised the export tax on iron ore fines to 20 per cent from 5 per cent to conserve the natural resource for local consumption.

The Supreme Court has banned mining activities in Tumkur, Bellary and Chitradurga districts of Karnataka. The top court has allowed state-run NMDC to mine up to 1 million tonne per month from its mines in Bellary district.

A federal government-appointed panel probing allegations of illegal mining in the western state of Goa, India's biggest iron ore exporting state last year, will submit its report within 45 days.

Iron ore exports from India are likely to fall more than a quarter to their lowest level in eight years in the fiscal 2012, a Reuter’s poll showed.

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