Rajathi group forays into iron ore exports

May 27, 2008

May 27 (Business Standard) – The Chennai-based Rs 440-crore Rajathi group, which is into export of agricultural commodities for the past three decades, is now trying to export iron ore on a large scale. The company is planning to acquire an iron ore mine near Hospet in Karnataka for this purpose.

“We are currently negotiating with an iron company for its acquisition and the deal is expected to be concluded by the end of this month,” group’s managing director, M Rajesh, told Business Standard.

According to Rajesh, constant urge to see new frontiers and a matured market in agro led the Rajathi group to enter into iron ore exports and capitalise on the surge in the international demand of iron ore. So far, it has exported close to 500,000 tonnes of iron ore.

Recipient of the largest agro commodity export award from the Union government in 1997, the Rajathi group is also planning to double its exports of farm products in the current year.

In 2007-08, Rajesh said the company’s export of onions declined steeply due to lack of demand. It exported 44,267 tonnes of onions, worth Rs 47.5 crore as against an export of 99,754 tonnes valued at Rs 97.5 crore in 2006-07. “This year we see a good tonnage as the demand will be good.

We expect to export 100,000 tonnes of onions, worth Rs 125 crore, in 2008-09,” he said, adding the company had emerged as a leader in the country in onion exports due to the cleaning techniques it adopted.

The company exports onions from Mumbai, Chennai and Tuticorin to Malaysia, Indonesia, Manila and Sri Lanka. It owns warehouses in major procurement centres and port cities. It procures onions from Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Besides onions, maize is another major agricultural commodity being exported by the company. Last year, it shipped close to 100,000 tonnes of maize worth Rs 94 crore.This year, it is expecting to export around 200,000 tonnes valued at Rs 200-250 crore.

Similarly, the company is confident of exporting 15,000 tonnes of chillies, worth Rs 100 crore, this year as against an export of 12,401 tonnes, valued at Rs 67.65 crore last year. Its projected export volumes of groundnut in the current year is 30,000 tonnes, valued at Rs 125 crore. Last year, it exported 12,581 tonnes of groundnut worth Rs 49.29 crore.

With regard to export of sugar, Rajesh said the company had already signed orders for shipment of 45,000 tonnes and intends to export a total of 200,000 tonnes, worth Rs 250 crore, during the current year. Last year, it exported 52,835 tonnes worth Rs 62 crore.

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