THE closure of Vedanta Ltd’s copper smelter in India has adversely impacted country’s copper products export in the financial year (FY) 2018-19, a latest data showed today (24).
The value of India’s copper products exports fell 70 per cent in the year ended in March 2019 due to the shutdown of company’s copper smelter, according to India’s Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC).
India’s exports of copper, copper products were $1.07 billion (£772.34 million) in FY 2018-19, down when compared to £2.69bn recorded during FY 2017-18, data from EEPC showed.
Exports to China, world’s top importer of the base metal fell over 80 per cent in FY 2018-19 from the last fiscal year.
Vedanta’s closed copper plant in the southern Indian city of Thoothukudi has a refining capacity of over 400,000 tonnes, a year.
India has an installed copper refining capacity of one million tonnes.
Suranjan Gupta, the executive director of EEPC India was quoted as saying in Reuters: “Sterlite alone accounts for about 40 per cent of the country’s production. So exports fell due to their shutdown.”
Sterlite Copper, a subsidiary of Vedanta closed its smelter in Thoothukudi last year, following an order from Tamil Nadu state government.
The state government’s order came after 13 demonstrators killed in a police firing during a protest against alleged environmental pollution at the copper plant.