India’s coking coal imports hit year-high in September

Argus, November 10, 2020

India’s coking coal imports in September rose to a year-high on increased shipments from Australia, underpinned by the recovery of India’s steel industry after the Covid-19 lockdown was lifted.

India imported 4.58mn t of coking coal in September, the highest monthly volume since July 2019. September imports rose by 45pc from August and by 29pc from a year earlier, according to data from e-commerce firm Mjunction. Australia accounted for the bulk of the increase.

Its January-September imports declined by 16pc from a year earlier to 30.94mn t.

Australian imports increased by 58pc from last month to 3.58mn t in September on a gradual recovery in the Indian steel market. Demand in the domestic steel industry picked up on the resumption of manufacturing activities as Covid-19 lockdown restrictions were steadily lifted in recent months.

The Argus premium low-volatile hard coking coal index averaged $135.25/t cfr India in September, up by 13pc from $120.22/t cfr India a month earlier.

India’s met coke imports hit an eight-month high of 244,870t in September, an increase of 159pc from 94,469t a year earlier.

India’s top met coke suppliers in September were Poland with 131,986t and Japan with 70,516t. Other origins included Colombia with 22,132t, China with 1,265t, Iran with 600t and Russia with 118t. January-September met coke imports fell by 29pc to 1.64mn t.

India’s pulverised coal injection (PCI) imports increased to 1.19mn t in September, up by 26pc from 940,154t in August and by 45pc from a year earlier. January-September PCI imports shrank by 12pc from a year earlier to 8.84mn t. PCI arrivals from top supplier Australia rose by 41pc from August and by 89pc on the year to 936,936t in September while Russian PCI imports fell by 5pc on the year to 248,052t.

By Parvin Chong

India's coking coal imports '000s
Origin Sep-20 Sep-19 Change Jan-Sep 2020 Jan-Sep 2019 Change
Australia 3,584 2,258 +59% 21,814 25,814 -15%
US 293 372 -21% 3,288 3,449 -5%
Canada 167 525 -68% 2,447 4,038 -39%
Mozambique 194 180 +8% 1,277 1,570 -19%
Indonesia 147 55 +167% 1,127 1,250 -10%
Russia 199 21 +838% 787 271 +190%
Others 0 128 -100% 199 641 -69%
Total 4,584 3,540 +29% 30,939 37,034 -16%
Source: Mjunction