As mining curbs bite, India offers market to glut-hit iron ore
* Bulk of India's imports may come from Australia, S.Africa-exec
* Delays in resumption of mining in Karnataka and Goa
* Profitable for miners to sell domestically
By Manolo Serapio Jr
SINGAPORE, Sept 16 (Reuters) - An oversupplied global iron ore market may find some relief from an unlikely source as former No.3 exporter India turns into a big importer due to a cutback in domestic production.
The country may ship in up to 45 million tonnes over the next three years as home-grown iron ore output falls short of domestic steel production needs, an executive at an influential industry group said.
India imported just 0.37 million tonnes of the steelmaking raw material in 2013/14, government data showed. But already JSW Steel, India's third-largest maker of the alloy, has said it will import 6 million tonnes of iron ore in 2014/15 against zero a year earlier.
"There's no option but to import to meet the shortfall. We're looking at between 10 and 15 million tonnes every fiscal year over the next three years," Basant Poddar, vice president of the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries, the only industry group for mining firms in the country, told Reuters by phone.
"The mine closures all over India, starting from Karnataka, Goa, Odisha and Jharkhand, have created a massive disruption to supply," Poddar said. Continuación...