October 2020 coal imports at 23.35 million t have reached pre-pandemic monthly average levels. The imports are higher than the 19.73 million t imported in October 2019 and the turnaround in trend continues. October 2020 imports are also higher than September 2020 imports of 20.07 million t by 16.34%.
October also saw a continuation of an uptick in economic activity with all the high frequency data accelerating quite sharply. The IHS Markit India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 58.9 in October 2020 – the highest since mid-2008 – from 56.8 in September. A reading over 50 indicates economic expansion.
New orders and output at Indian manufacturers continued to recover from the COVID-19-induced contractions seen earlier in 2020, with PMI results for October highlighting historically sharp monthly rates of expansion. Underlying data indicated that the domestic market was the key source of new business gains, as new orders from abroad declined further. The deterioration in international demand for Indian services was the slowest since March, but nevertheless sharper than any recorded prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Nomura India Business Resumption Index (NIBRI) declined marginally to 85.3 for the week ended 15 November 2020 from a post-lockdown high of 85.8 a week earlier. The index is trending 15% points below pre-pandemic levels. The brokerage firm flagged the fading of momentum post the festive season, the satisfaction of pentup demand, and the likely drag on growth due to government as key downside risks for the economy.
Lockdowns in Gujarat, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh can slow the economic recovery and the outlook on business resumption remains concerning, according to Nomura Business Resumption Index which is an index to gauge the recovery after the pandemic. Nomura said the index moved up by a notch for the week ended 22 November 2020 but continues to be below pre-pandemic levels. It attributed the increase to a sharp increase in the Apple driving index, which finally crossed pre-pandemic levels, and a continued pick up in Google’s retail and recreation mobility index.
However, it is the localised lockdowns in various states due to an increase in COVID-19 infections which seemed to worry the analysts. The lockdowns could “slow the sequential pace of recovery in the next 2 – 3 months, following the sharp rebound thus far,” the brokerage warned. In what it termed as a ‘worrying’ sign, the brokerage said the week to 22 November 2020 saw a decline in the labour participation rate to 39.3% from 39.5% in the previous week, while power demand growth also declined.
India’s power consumption grew nearly 12% to 109.53 billion units in October 2020 compared with 97.84 billion units in the same month last year.
India’s power consumption grew 7.8% to 50.15 billion units in the first half of November this year, showing rise in economic activities, as per government data. Power consumption in the country was recorded at 46.52 billion units between 1 – 15 November 2020, according to the power ministry data.
The growth in power consumption in the first half of November showed that there is consistency in improvement in commercial and industrial demand due to easing of lockdown restrictions, experts said.
Peak power demand met, the highest supply of power in the country in a day, in the first half of November was recorded at 160.77 GW (on 3 November 2020), 5.2% higher than 152.77 GW on 6 November 2019.
The peak power demand in the month of November last year was 155.32GW. The peak power demand met in October was recorded at 170.04 GW, 3.52% higher than 164.25 GW in the same month last year. Peak power demand in September this year recorded a growth of 1.7% at 176.41 GW, compared to 173.45 GW a year ago, the data showed
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/special-reports/01122020/iman-indias-import-coal-coke/