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India: Statistical analysis of non-coking coal imports in H1'21

India’s thermal coal imports from various origins stood at 81.2 million tonnes (mn t) in first half of 2021 with the highest imports being recorded from Indones...

Non Coking
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7 Aug 2021, 15:39 IST
India: Statistical analysis of non-coking coal imports in H1'21

India's thermal coal imports from various origins stood at 81.2 million tonnes (mn t) in first half of 2021 with the highest imports being recorded from Indonesia at 43.4 mn t followed by South Africa at 15 mn t.

Australia was at third spot with 12.2 mn t, with the US bringing up nearly 7.84 mn t.

Imports from Russia and Mozambique stood at comparatively lower levels at 1.38 mn t and 1.23 mn t respectively.

Indonesian coal prices rise 47% in H1'21

Amongst the various grades of coal imported from Indonesia, the 4,200 GAR topped the list at 3.44 mn t and its FoB price rose from $36/t in Jan'21 to $53/t in Jun'21, up by 47%.

This was followed by the 4,800 GAR at 2.69 mn t with its FoB price rising by 42% from $51/t in Jan to $72/t in Jun.

India usually imports low-CV coal from Indonesia and the rise in prices can be attributed to increased demand from China amid its domestic coal shortage and increased power demand.

The top importer of Indonesia coal in H1'21 was Adani Enterprise with 14% share in the total imports followed by Adani Power at 9% and Agarwal Coal at 7%.

5,500 NAR from SA arrives in maximum quantity

The South African 5,500 NAR used by the sponge iron sector in India arrived in the highest quantity in the first half of 2021 at 1.59 mn t with its FoB price rising 33% from Jan till Jun. This was followed by the 6,000 NAR with imports at 1.41 mn t.

Demand for South African coal from sponge iron plants, that picked up late last year waned from April this year due to weak domestic sale volumes, reduced capacity utilisation following the outbreak of the second wave of Covid-19.

Owing to lockdown restrictions at manufacturing units, portside trading activity in South African coal also witnessed a considerable fall in the Apr-Jun'21 quarter as soaring prices forced sponge iron manufacturers to shift to domestic coal blending or halt operations.

The highest receiver of South African coal was Adani Enterprise with an import share of 16% followed by Rungta Mines at 6% and Agarwal Coal at 5%.

Australian 5500 NAR coal price rises 17% in H1

The Australian 5,500 NAR coal was the highest imported grade during Jan-Jun'21 at 1.78 mn t and its FoB price rose 17% over six months. This was followed by the 5,800 NAR at 1.13 mn t with its price also rising 16% over the same period.

With the sharp rise in Indonesian coal demand from China, Australia found itself fulfilling ex-China demand from Korea, Japan, and Taiwan especially since June that marks the start of the summer season in these countries.

Adani Enterprise was the top importer of Australian coal at 11% followed by JSW Energy (10%) and SEMB Corp (9%).

Coal imports from the US were recorded at 7.84 mn t during Jan-Jun'21 with the 6,900 NCV, mainly used by the cement sector, at 0.74 mn t. Its FoB price rose by 21% in Jun against Jan prices.

Outlook

With a gradual pick-up in economic activities since the second outbreak of the pandemic, thermal coal imports into India are expected to increase post-monsoon September onwards.

However, the rising trajectory of the imported coal prices amid robust demand from China and other North East Asian countries, coupled with increased availability of domestic coal, may dent India's thermal coal imports in H2'21.

 

7 Aug 2021, 15:39 IST

 

 

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