Copper Fields

Ishara S. Kodikara | AFP | Getty Images Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, center, speaks to supporters at the prime minister's official residence in Colombo on December 16, 2018, after he was reappointed as prime minister by Sri Lanka's president, the same man who fired him from the job nearly two months ago.

Processing copper scrap for export to India is big business here in Sri Lanka. Processing copper scrap for export to India is big business here in Sri Lanka. Half a dozen companies, with Indian investment, import copper scrap, melts them and reshapes them in to bars for re-export to India where it’s used as raw material.

Operating out of his high rise apartment in Colombo, Ramesh Goel, the king of copper exports says the industry exported over US$ 150 million worth of copper bars or ingots to India last year.

Half these exports were from his factory at Mirigama, a satellite town in the suburbs of Colombo, from where he ships three container loads a day, every day of the year.

That’s over a thousand containers of copper a year.

Indian companies that mine for copper there are opposed to exports of copper from here which are cheaper.

These companies say copper exports from here don’t meet the minimum value addition of 35 percent to qualify for duty concessions.

Indian customs duty of 15 percent for copper exports is waived for exports under the FTA t