India's exports of iron ore pellets to China's largest buyer fell between April 2018 and March 2019, but gained new markets in Europe. The country has also expanded sales to South Korea and Malaysia.
Exports to China declined 8.1 percent to 6.96 million tons in fiscal 2018-19, down from 7.57 million tons in 2017-18, according to customs data.
Total pellet exports to India increased 0.76 percent to 9.41 million tonnes in 2018-19, up from 9.34 million tonnes in 2017-18.
Indian pellet exports have skyrocketed since 2016 following the accident at Vale's tailings dam in Feijao and the closure of the Samarco mine in Brazil at the end of 2015, exacerbating the global pellet supply crisis, leading to increased sales of Indian iron ore to Europe and South Korea.
South Korean pellet exports rose 42 percent to 530,400 tons, while sales to the UK rose more than 500 percent to 371,650 tons. Sales to Malaysia rose 198 percent to 159,180 tonnes. For the first time, deliveries were made to the Netherlands for 54,430 tons, Poland for 66,920 tons, Turkey for 53,990 tons and Mexico for 46,240 tons.
At the same time, exports to Japan decreased by 45 percent to 214,100 tons, and to Vietnam - by 23 percent to 159,240 tons.
India's small lump concentrate exports fell 54 percent in 2018-19 to 6.78 from 14.86 million tonnes in 2017-18, mainly due to the suspension of production in the coastal state of Goa, which is a major exporter low grade ore to China. Mining operations in Goa have been suspended since March 2018, and work is not expected to resume anytime soon due to delays in court decisions regarding the redistribution of mining leases in the state.