Govt. considering iron ore export curb: Virbhadra Singh

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New Delhi, Aug. 7 (ANI): Union Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh on Friday said that India is "seriously considering" putting curbs on exports.

Singh informed this in the national capital during an industry event. However, he did not provide any further details, nor did he suggest any timeline for trade limitations.

"It is better if we export finished projects rather than iron ore and other things which are of lower value and we should try to conserve power, stock iron ore as much as possible for the future, so that maximum benefit is for the country on a long term basis," Virbhadra Singh said.

Spot iron ore prices in China, which buys about a fifth of its iron ore from India, have nearly doubled since April, rising to 110 dollars a tonne on a delivered basis as benchmark price negotiations drag months past their deadline and Beijing's stimulus plan stokes demand and aids mills' profits.

However, the surge in global prices has put increasing pressure on Indian steel mills, and New Delhi has in the past used duties as a way to attempt to stem the rise in domestic prices by keeping more supplies at home-measures that would threaten to increase global prices.

Currently, export duty on iron ore lumps is 5 percent and on iron ore fines it is nil, but miners have been bracing for a possible increase in duties for several months.

Singh also said the government has identified two state-run steel firms for stake sale, and is considering some more firms for the same, without naming the companies. (ANI)

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