India coal imports surge: Trends and market analysis 2024


Mumbai  : In the fiscal year, India’s coal imports have surged, reaching 5.22 crore tons in the first two months, marking a 5.3% increase compared to the same period last year. This data, sourced from Tata Steel and SAIL’s joint venture B2B e-commerce platform, Junction Services Limited, underscores a significant trend in the energy sector.

Current Trends in Coal Imports

During April and May of the previous financial year, coal imports stood at 4.96 crore tons. However, there has been a slight decline observed in May, with imports totaling 2.61 crore tons, down from 2.65 crore tons during the same period last year. This represents a modest 1.43% decrease in coal imports for May.

Factors Influencing Coal Import Dynamics

According to a senior official at Junction, the onset of the monsoon season may lead to reduced demand for imports in the coming weeks. Concurrently, domestic market production is expected to remain robust. Additionally, supply shortages through maritime routes could potentially drive up prices of coking coal, impacting consumer interest within the country.

Segment Analysis: Non-Coking and Coking Coal

In May, non-coking coal constituted 1.75 crore tons of total imports, slightly down from 1.81 crore tons in May last year. Meanwhile, coking coal imports in May were recorded at 50.3 lakh tons, marginally lower than the 51 lakh tons imported in May 2023. This nuanced segmentation provides insights into the specific coal types influencing market dynamics.

Domestic Production and Consumption Dynamics

Coal India Limited (CIL) continues to dominate domestic coal production, contributing over 80% to the overall production volume. This substantial share underscores CIL’s pivotal role in meeting India’s burgeoning energy demands amidst fluctuating international supply chains.

Market Outlook and Future Projections

Looking ahead, the trajectory of India’s coal imports hinges significantly on global supply trends, domestic production capabilities, and economic policies impacting energy sectors. The evolving dynamics in maritime logistics and geopolitical factors are likely to exert considerable influence on coal prices and import volumes in the near term.

India’s coal import landscape reflects a complex interplay of global market forces, domestic production capacities, and seasonal demand variations. As stakeholders navigate these dynamics, staying abreast of evolving trends and policy developments will be crucial for informed decision-making within the energy sector.


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