Indian coal imports rise at the fastest rate in 3-1/2 years Back to News & Events List

India’s thermal coal imports rose at the fastest pace in three-and-a-half years in the September quarter, spurred by new demand and domestic infrastructure bottlenecks that are threatening government plans to cut foreign supplies.

Imports jumped 35 percent to 42.7 million tonnes during the three months ended Sept. 30, according to data from American Fuels & Natural Resources, a Dubai-based trader of coal from the United States which tracks coal shipments around the region.

It was the fourth straight quarterly rise in coal imports and puts the energy-hungry nation on track for a rise in annual imports after two straight years of decline.

For the first nine months of 2018, imports of 124.6 million tonnes are up 20 percent from the same period a year earlier.

The American Fuels figures for the September quarter were in line with data from consultancy Wood Mackenzie, which estimated imports at 42 million tonnes during the period.

The rise in imports is being driven by fresh demand for thermal coal, say industry executives and traders.

“We are seeing a surge in demand from the steel industry, and the petcoke consumption and import restrictions have led cement plants and a large number of smaller industries to shift their energy mix to include coal,” said Puneet Gupta, founder of online coal marketplace CoalShastra.

Source: Reuters

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