New Delhi: State-owned miner NMDC may revise iron ore rates for February because of firming prices of the key steel-making raw material internationally.
"Our Board will meet in the first week of February," NMDC Chairman C S Verma said here when asked whether the company would raise prices in view of rising international rates.
Declining to elaborate, he said it was "a price- sensitive" issue and NMDC was closely watching the situation.
He said the international rates have significantly gone up from USD 90 a tonne in last September to USD 150 per tonne now, but added that "international pricing and domestic pricing were totally different things. We have a 30 percent duty on iron ore exports from India.
"Even when international prices went up, we had lowered the price of iron ore lumps here."
The jump in international iron ore prices in recent times is reportedly due to the sudden spurt in demand from Chinese steel makers amidst subdued global supply.
NMDC had slashed the price of iron ore lumps, mostly used by Indian steel makers, by 5.9 percent or Rs 320 a tonne for January, but kept the the price of fines, which have less iron content, unchanged at Rs 2,610 per tonne.
Following the correction, average price for NMDC's iron ore lumps, having 65 percent iron content, were hovering at around Rs 5,080 per tonne.
Domestic firms had even suggested that NMDC should have brought down the price of fines as well as they are available at a cheaper rate even domestically. Iron ore lumps and fines are two main variants of the raw material for steel-making.
NMDC had raised the price of iron ore by 8-13 percent for the July-September quarter. From thereon, NMDC had decided to revise prices of iron ore on a monthly basis.
In October, it had reduced prices by 2-11 percent and again by 3-11 percent in November. It did not tweak prices in December, primarily to pacify steel makers which accused the state-owned firm of selling at a higher cost domestically and exporting cheaper.