Exports of iron ore from India, once the world's third-biggest supplier, fell more than 40% in the April-June quarter, mainly because of a slowing China as well falling global prices.
A 30% export duty imposed by the government led to a further drop in overseas sales, making Indian ores less attractive compared with Brazil or Australia.
Iron ore exports fell to 12.11 million tonnes or worth Rs 52.36 billion in the first quarter of the fiscal year, a statement from ministry of mines said quoting data from the finance ministry.
India exported 57.35 million tonnes of iron ore in the last fiscal to March 2012, down 42% from the year ago period, the statement said.
Indian miners have been selling iron ore at low profits or even loss as global iron ore prices declined 36% since early July.
On Monday, India's Supreme Court allowed 18 mines in the southern state of Karnataka to resume production, that could free about 5 million tonnes of output mainly for steel makers along with 1 million tonnes a month from NMDC, the country's biggest iron ore miner.