India scraps export tax on low-grade iron ore, some steel intermediates

India scrapped export taxes on low-grade iron ore and on some intermediate steel products, after months of complaints from miners and steel makers about loss of foreign sales opportunities.

The move, reverses the imposition in May of a 50% tax on exports of iron-ore lumps and fines with less than 58% iron content.

The government also reversed a May rise in export tax on iron ore concentrates other than roasted iron pyrites. That tax now returns to 30% from 50%. India exported less than half as much steel in the seven months to October as it did a year earlier. Major steel makers have urged the government to unwind the additional export taxation, saying it added to their problem of weakening international demand.

Despite the latest tax reductions, a top miners’ organisation remained doubtful about the prospect of exports reviving since the Chinese market is not very buoyant now and it drives the export.