Australia was the largest exporter of iron ore to India in the 2017-18 fiscal year ended 31 March after being a marginal supplier for the past several years.
Australia replaced South Africa and Brazil as the major suppliers to India. Australia exported 2.86mn tonnes of iron ore in 2017-18, around 33pc of total Indian imports, compared with 5,539 tonnes in 2016-17.
Most of the exports from Australia probably came from Fortescue Metals, which has shipped over 2million tonnes of medium-grade fines to India since January 2018. The buyer was possibly a large-scale Indian steel mill with a west coast-based plant that increased its use of Fortescue’s fines as the spread between 62 and 65per ent Fe fines widened, said market participants.
Total imports by India increased by 89 per cent in 2017-18 to 8.7million tones from 4.6million tones in 2016-17.