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IMAN: India’s import – coal & coke

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World Coal,

IMAN has released a report for India's import of coal for April 2021.

Economy highlights

  • April 2021 total coal and metallurgical coal imports at 23.261 million t have seen a sharp bounce back of 35.57% over April 2020 import figure of 17.159 million t and 14.49% higher than 20.37 million t imported in March 2021.
  • Pet coke imports continue falling. They contracted by 64.84% to 0.296 million t in April 2021 from 0.842 million t in April 2020. There was a 35.20% contraction m/m from 0.457 million t imported in March 2021.
  • Thermal coal imports in April were at 16.239 million t, a growth of 40.10% over the 11.591 million t imported last April 2020 and a 26.31% growth over the 12.856 million t imported in March 2021.
  • Metallurgical coal imports continued at their elevated level but a slight deceleration. April 2021 saw 4.747 million t being imported, a growth of 31.36% over the 3.614 million t imported in April 2020. But a 9.97% contraction from the 5.273 million t imported in March 2021.
  • In the first 4 months of 2021, thermal coal imports are down by 9.79%% at 52.982 million t as compared to 58.731 million t in the first 4 months 2020. However, metallurgical coal imports are up by 27.73% at 19.983 million t as compared to 15.645 million t in the same period of 2020.
    • April 2021 witnessed a smart bounce back of thermal coal arrivals from Indonesia, which continues to be the main stay of Indian coal imports. Thermal coal arrivals from Indonesia grew 54.66% to 9.873 million t as compared to 6.384 million t in April 2020. April 2021 arrivals were also 46.93% higher than the 6.72 million t that arrived in March 2021.
  • Arrivals from the US have also been strong in 2021 and April saw 1.74 million t arriving, a 116.40% rise from the 0.802 million t that arrived in April 2020. April arrivals were also 16.51% higher than the 1.49 million t that arrived in March 2021.
  • Imports from Australia steadied in April 2021 at the 1.42 million t mark which is slight contraction of 0.53% from the March 2021 level of 1.427 million t.
    • However, thermal coal arrivals from Australia are growing in market share. Australian thermal coal accounted for 4.44% market share in 2020 with 7.01 million t of imports. In the first 4 months of 2021, Australia's thermal coal imports aggregate 7.2 million t and account for 13.6% of India’s thermal coal imports.
  • US coal arrivals into India peaked at 12.47 million t in 2018 and accounted for 7.3% of market share of thermal coal imports. In 2021, in 4 months, US coal arrival was at 4.94 million t, accounting for 9.32% of thermal coal imports.

Power update

  • India's electricity use fell 6.2% during the first half of May compared with the second half of April, government data showed.
  • Total daily average electricity supply to states fell to 3666 billion units (Bu) during the first 16 days of May, compared with 3910 Bu during the second half of April, data from federal grid regulator POSOCO showed.
  • Industries and offices account for half the country's annual electricity consumption. Power generation in India generally starts rising from April and peaks in May due to a higher air-conditioning load.
  • Power use in May has been higher than the same time the previous year except in two southern states and two northeastern states, the data showed, indicating curbs have been less strict than last year despite surging deaths due to the pandemic.
    • Senior government officials had cited the recovery in demand for power in late 2020 as a sign the economy was beginning to recover from its worst slump in decades.
  • Three-quarters of the regions recorded a dip in power use in May compared with the second half of April due to curbs imposed to control the spread of the virus.
  • Power use rose in the northern states of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Delhi – among the regions worst affected by the coronavirus, even as overall power generation fell 6.3% compared with the second half of April.
  • Power supplied to Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat – India's richest and most industrial states which together account for nearly a one-third of the total electricity consumption – fell by over 5% each.

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