India’s thermal coal imports have risen by more than 15 per cent in the first three months of 2018, reports Reuters. Imports from Indonesia account for about three-fifths of total supplies, according to vessel arrival data from Dubai-based coal trader American Fuels & Natural Resources.
Further, India’s rising coal imports are contributing to higher demand across Asia this year. This has also pushed benchmark Australian coal cargo prices above $100 per tonne, a price not seen at this time of year in more than half a decade.
India will likely increase 2018 thermal coal imports after two straight years of declines because of domestic logistic bottlenecks, regulatory changes and surging power demand.
Vasudev Pamnani, a senior trader at American Fuels, said India’s demand for coal with a higher calorific value, most of which has to be imported, was increasing since buyers want more energy from the coal they purchase to offset higher prices and the logistical problems, mainly railway delays.
South Africa was the second-largest source of imported coal during the first quarter of 2018, supplying about one-fourth of the total imports, with the United States and Australia being the next largest sources, the data showed.
Adani Enterprises, India’s largest coal trader, accounted for about one-sixth of all the imports, purchasing about 6.51 million tonnes during the period, data showed.
The Tata Group imported 5.23 million tonnes of coal during the period with Swiss Singapore, part of the Aditya Birla Group, taking in 2.92 million tonnes and JSW Group bringing in 2.48 million tonnes.
The ports of Mundra, Krishnapatnam and Kandla handled about the two-fifths of all of the imports, according to American Fuels.