ACCOUNT PROFILE

India: Pellet export shipments drop 39% y-o-y in Q2FY'2

Posted on 08 October 2021

India’s pellet export shipments were recorded at 2.21 million tonnes (mn t) in Q2FY’22, as per data maintained with SteelMint. The shipments fell by 39% y-o-y compared to 3.62 mn t in the corresponding period last year. The decline in export shipments was largely due to falling export realisations amid lesser Chinese buying.

SteelMint’s pellet export index (Fe 64%, 3% Al, FoB east coast) fell from $246/tonne (t) assessed towards the beginning of July to $122/t in end-Sep’21. Sharp decline in export realisations, compelled players to divert their volumes to the domestic market.

Pellet exports to China plunge 58% y-o-y

China continued to remain the largest importer of Indian pellets in Q2FY’22 at 1.32 mn t, but volumes were down 58% y-o-y as against 3.13 mn t in Q2FY’21. The average pellet inventory at major Chinese ports decreased to 4 mn t in end-September, as per data maintained by SteelHome. The inventory was assessed at its lowest level since SteelMint began maintaining data in Jul’20. This gave some room to booking of seaborne pellet cargoes. However, bids for Indian cargoes remained on the lower side.

Italy stood as the second-largest importer at 0.26 mn t followed by Indonesia at 0.22 mn t.

Shipper-wise exporters in Q2FY’22

BRPL was the largest pellet exporter Q2FY’22 at 0.53 mn t, down against 0.61 mn t in CPLY. Rashmi Metaliks stood as the second-largest exporter at 0.41 mn t followed by KIOCL at 0.27 mn t.

Paradip Port accounts for 40% of total exports

In Q2FY’22, exports from Paradip Port stood at 0.9 mn t with 40% share, down 33% y-o-y. Dhamra Port was second with 0.37 mn t and Gangavaram Port was third at 0.32 mn t.

Outlook

Considering the comparatively lower bookings in Q2FY’22, export shipment numbers are likely to witness a fall given the steep decline in global prices on the back of announced Chinese steel production cuts and the Golden Week holidays which have kept bookings on the lower side.

In another development, India’s legal establishment seemed to be rattled by the highly controversial topic of duty-free iron ore pellets exports from India, SteelMint gleaned from reports. The apex court asked the Indian government to file a counter affidavit within four weeks in response to the PIL filed by advocate Prashant Bhushan representing an NGO that alleged excessive mining and consequent environmental degradation, issues that are being disregarded to sustain high pellets exports from India — mainly to China.

Source : SteelMint