South Africa Seen Passing India as Third-Ranked Iron-Ore Shipper

South Africa is poised to overtake India this year as the world’s third-largest exporter of iron ore, Morgan Stanley said after cutting estimates for seaborne supply from the South Asian nation.

Indian shipments of the steelmaking raw material by sea will be 41 million metric tons, 40 percent less than the 68 million tons predicted in March, the investment bank said in its Global Metals Playbook, dated today. South African seaborne exports will come to 53 million tons, 4 million tons more than its prior forecast, Morgan Stanley said.

India has ranked third among iron-ore exporters after world leader Australia and Brazil since at least 2004, Morgan Stanley figures show. Indian shipments are declining after higher export duties were introduced in December, the bank said in a March report. Exports from the country peaked at 114 million tons in 2009, according to Morgan Stanley’s data.

Canadian exports of the ore by sea will come to 36 million tons, more than double the 15-million-ton estimate made three months ago, the report showed. Total seaborne supply of iron ore this year was projected at 1.02 billion tons by Morgan Stanley.

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