Published on February 22nd, 2017 | by Joshua S Hill0
Indian Coal Imports Decline In January
February 22nd, 2017 by Joshua S Hill
Reports from Indian newspapers are showing that Indian coal imports declined by 21.7% to 14.31 million tonnes in January, due to existing stocks supplying adequate supply.
The reports are quoting Indian e-commerce company mjunction services, which tallied coal figures for January and found that coal imports in January reached only 14.31 million tonnes, compared to 18.28 million tonnes a year earlier.
“In power sector, the state utilities are replete with stock and are aiming to curb imports altogether (except for coast-based plants) by March 2017,” mjunction CEO Vinaya Varma is quoted as saying. “This explains the substantial drop….in steam coal imports in January 2017 vis-a-vis the same month last year.”
Specifically, according to Varma, non-power sector consumers stopped restocking the supply of non-coking coal after steam coal prices reversed their price decline midway through the month.
“In fact, spot steam coal prices firmed up by around eight-nine per cent in South Africa, and also rose marginally in Indonesia during the month,” Varma added.
All of this is somewhat unsurprising, as the Indian Government said back in September that it was working on ways to end coal dependency on coal imports in an effort to consume the oversupply produced by Coal India.
“To tackle this problem of surplus, my ministry has drawn up an entire programme to see how we can completely eliminate import of coal by any state government or state discom in the next 3-4 months,” Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said in September.
The figures are an interesting byproduct of the global trend towards a transition to low-carbon economies. Specifically, it will be interesting to keep an eye on Indian coal import figures as we travel through the rest of the year to see whether this trend holds. China and India have both promised to swear off coal imports — an issue which has hit Australia’s coal industry hard — and it will be interesting to see whether government promises match up in any real way to reality.