In the 2017–2018 fiscal year, Australia proved to be the largest exporter of iron ore to India, despite only ever having been a relatively minor supplier over recent years. It has replaced both South Africa and Brazil, who had previously been India’s main source of the mineral.
In the fiscal year to 31 March 2018, Australia exported 2.86mt (million tonnes) of iron ore to India, which was approximately one third of total imports. In 2016–2017, India had imported just 5,539 tonnes of iron ore from Australia.
Fortescue Metals shipped over 2mt of medium-grade fines to the South Asian country since January this year, with the main client thought to have been a large-scale Indian steel mill based on the west coast.
Total iron ore imports to India went up 89% in 2017–18 to 8.7mt compared with 4.6mt in 2016–17.