According to published data by the Indian Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC), the cost of exporting copper products from India decreased by 70% in the financial year ended March (April 2018-May 2019), mainly due to the closure of the Vedanta Ltd. plant. Exports of copper and copper products, including cathode copper, amounted to $ 1.07 billion in monetary terms in comparison with $ 3.48 billion in the 2017/2018 fiscal year.
The state of Tamil Nadu ordered in May last year to stop the company running Sterlite Copper (Vedanta units) after protest clashes with the police, who shot 13 people protesting the alleged pollution of the environment by the plant. “Sterlite’s share in the country’s total copper production is about 40%. So, exports declined due to downtime, ”said EEPC Executive Director Suranjan Gupta. “The export of copper cathodes and wire rod has declined due to Vedanta problems, but the future of exporting goods such as wire and cable looks bright,” said RR Global, one of the largest consumers of copper in India, Shrigopal Cabra. The installed capacity of refined copper in India is 1 million tons. The capacity of Thoothukudi Vedanta is more than 400 thousand tons per year. Experts point out that the company is engaged in a legal dispute over the topic of the closure of the enterprise, which caused damage to the Asian copper market. Meanwhile, 2 leading political parties in Tamil Nadu are against opening a factory.
Exports to China, one of the largest importers of Indian copper, fell by more than 80% from the previous fiscal year.
Copper production by large Indian companies (including Hindalco Industries Ltd and Hindustan Copper Ltd in the financial year 2018/19 was 457 thousand tons, 40% less than in the previous financial year (766 thousand tons).
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