Exports of iron ore from India to China fell sharply in November, statistics gathered by the Indian Ports Association showed.
India's major state-owned ports shipped only 480 million tons of iron ore in November, a decline of 35.4 per cent from a year ago. Iron ore shipments through Paradip, one of the largest ports on India's east coast in Orissa, plummeted 88.4 per cent to 148.6 million tons. Iron ore exports through Visakhapatnam port likewise fell 35.7 per cent to 93.3 million tons.
The crackdown on Illegal mining activities across the country, which led to a ban on iron ore exports, had been cited as primary reason for the significant shipment decline,
"The new policies of the central government and the states have led to a decline in exports of minerals, especially iron ores. We want the government to provide a more conducive environment and liberal policies for Chinese companies to invest in India," Zhang Yan, Chinese Ambassador to India, said during the "Indo-China Trade Relations and Allied Matters" conference held in India.
To support domestic requirements, China will be forced to search for new sources, Mr Zhang said.
"Our market is always open to India. We want to buy iron ore from anywhere. If not India, we are going to buy more from Australia and Brazil and look for new sources in African countries," Mr Zhang said.
Iron ore exports make up for 80 per cent to 90 per cent of India's export capacity. Majority, or 70 per cent, is shipped to China.
Bilateral trade volume between China and India exceeded US$61 billion in 2010, 20 times higher than a decade ago. Official figures showed that between January and December this year, trade volume had reached US$60.3 billion and is expected to reach US$70 billion by the end of December.
Earlier this year, India's Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry said China and India will emerge as the world's largest trading partners by 2030, with bilateral trade seen to increase and hit $100 billion by 2015.