State-run National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) is expected to announce a Rs300-400 per tonne increase in the prices of iron ore, possibly by the third week of this month when the board of directors of the company meet.
The company, however, did not comment on the possible quantum of increase in prices. Acting chairman N K Nanda merely said the matter would be discussed at the next board meeting of the company, slated for the third week of April
Nanda, however, expects NMDC's iron ore production in 2012-13 to go up to 30 million tonnes, up 20 per cent from the 2011-12 production level. This is despite the closure of most of the iron ore mines in Karnataka and Goa.
"Our production in the current fiscal will be more than 30 million tonne. Last fiscal, it was 27 million tonne. We will enhance production from the existing mines to achieve the target," he said.
With high global prices of iron ore, especially with a $20 per tonne hike in ore prices in China, NMDC also has enough cushion for a price hike. The company is likely to increase prices of both lumps and fines, say industry sources.
The price of lumps, which most Indian steel mills use, is between Rs4,900 and Rs6,000 per tonne ($99 to $119 per tonne) and fines between Rs2,200 and Rs3,000 per tonne ($43.9 to $59.88 per tonne).