State-owned iron ore miner NMDC's sales rose 17 per cent to 27.43 million tonnes in the first 11 months of the current financial year on higher demand from steel makers.
The country's largest producer of the key steel-making input had sold 23.43 million tonnes of iron ore in the same period of the previous financial year, NMDC said in a statement today.
Production increased to 26.42 million tonnes from 23.52 million tonnes.
NMDC, which fixes iron ore prices on a monthly basis, left them unchanged in March at February's levels of Rs 4,500 a tonne for lumps and Rs 2,910 a tonne for fines as global rates fell to an eight-month low.
NMDC, which hopes to clock its best-ever sales in the current financial year at over 30 million tonnes, had been facing evacuation problems from its mines in Chattisgarh and Karnataka earlier.
The company's production and sales have never touched 30 million tonnes since it was incorporated in 1958. Output and sales touched 29 million tonnes in 2008-09 and have fallen since then.
Production during the third quarter was 7.3 million tonnes, a growth of more than 36 per cent over the corresponding period last year. Sales were at 7.34 milion tonnes, which was about 38 per cent higher.
NMDC is enhancing its iron ore capacity to 48 million tonnes from 32 million tonnes. The expansion would be gradually commissioned from June and completed by December.