India renews high-grade iron ore supply contracts with Japan, South Korea

India has renewed contracts for supply of high-grade (+64% Fe) iron ore to Japanese and South Korean mills under long-term supply agreement for a five-year period from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2023.

The union cabinet on Wednesday approved the renewal of long term-agreements by MMTC for supply of iron ore (lumps and fines) of grade +64% Fe content to Japanese steel mills and South Korea’s POSCO for another five years, ie from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2023, says a cabinet note.
The earlier LTAs were valid until 31 March 2018 and the renewal of the contract will allow Japanese steel mills and South Korea’s POSCO to source high-grade iron ore from India till March 2023.
The LTAs fix the quantity of iron ore to be exported at 3.80 million tonnes to 5.50 million tonnes annually, which may include NMDC and non-NMDC origin iron ore. The quantitative ceilings for export of Bailadila Lumps is 1.81 million tonnes per annum and that for Bailadila fines 2.71 million tonnes per annum.
Under the agreement, Japanese steel mills will be entitled to a minimum of 3.00 million tonnes and a maximum of 4.30 million tonnes per annum while South Korea’s POSCO can import 0.80 million tonnes to 1 .20 million tonnes per annum.
The entire quantities of iron ore proposed to be supplied to Japanese steel mills and South Korea’s POSCO through MMTC Limited under these LTAs will be of grade +64% Fe content.
The existing policy of single agency operation and exports through MMTC, with trading margin of 2.8 per cent of FOB price will continue.
India's iron ore exports to Japan is almost six decades old and is a consistent component of India's bilateral relations with Japan. MMTC has been supplying iron ore to Japanese steel mills since 1963 and to South Korea since 1973.