India turns refined copper importer after 18 years: Care

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New Delhi | Updated: October 21, 2019 2:51:09 PM

The closure of Vedanta's copper smelter plant at Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu has led to a rise in imports of the metal, making the country a net importer of refined copper after 18 years, Care Ratings has said.

Imports of copper ore and concentrates fell by 44.6 per cent in the last fiscal due to lack of requirement from the Tuticorin smelter.

The closure of Vedanta’s copper smelter plant at Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu has led to a rise in imports of the metal, making the country a net importer of refined copper after 18 years, Care Ratings has said. “India used to be a net exporter of copper cathodes till FY18. Now with the closure of the Tuticorin smelter, the drop in domestic production has led to the domino effect of increasing the country’s imports and decreasing its exports. India has become a net importer of refined copper after 18 years,” Care Ratings has said.

During FY2018-19, exports fell by 87.4 per cent, whereas imports increased by 131.2 per cent, it said.

India imported refined copper from, Japan, Congo, Singapore, Chile, Tanzania, the UAE and South Africa while exported refined copper to China, Taiwan, Malaysia, South Korea and Bangladesh during 2018-19.

Share of exports towards China has increased, from it being 63 per cent during 2017-18 to 75 per cent during 2018-19 and share of imports from Japan has increased from it being 68 per cent during FY2017-18 to 71 per cent during FY2018-19.

India has emerged as an importer of copper ore and concentrates and imports more than 90 per cent of our concentrate
requirements due to the lack of copper mines present in the country.

Imports of copper ore and concentrates fell by 44.6 per cent in the last fiscal due to lack of requirement from the Tuticorin smelter.

The Tamil Nadu government in May last year ordered permanent shutdown of the copper smelter after bloody protests at the plant in Thoothukudi culminated in police opening fire on demonstrators.

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