Indian seaborne iron ore requires US$60/tonne price to breakeven
While the cost of mining and processing iron ore in India is low, high transport costs and a 30% export tax on high grade ore make the industry uncompetitive in the current seaborne market. With the iron ore price under increasing pressure and the Indian government targeting an ambitious 150 Mt of steel production by 2020, there is more incentive for Indian iron ore producers to supply the domestic market. Our analysis of the cost structure of Indian iron ore suggests that only 35% of non-captive ore is cash positive at our 2018 price forecast of US$50 per tonne (62% Fe fines, CFR China). As a result we expect Indian seaborne exports to dry up quickly. Indian ore will find it increasingly difficult to compete in the seaborne market as Chinese demand stagnates, prices fall and supply from low-cost, high-quality suppliers rises.