In September 2023, coal vessel arrivals at Indian ports surged by 33%, driven by Indonesian, Australian, and South African coal imports. This influx of coal has significant implications for India's energy needs and economic activities, shaping its industrial landscape.
In the first half of September 2023, coal vessel arrivals at Indian ports witnessed a remarkable 33% month-on-month increase, reaching a total of 10.03 million tons (mnt). This surge in coal imports has significant implications for India’s energy landscape and economic activities.
- Indonesian Coal Dominance: Among the countries contributing to this surge, Indonesia stands out with the highest share of coal imports, accounting for 4.10 mnt. Notable players in this import include:
- Adani Enterprises: 1.20 mnt
- Adani Power: 0.76 mnt.
- The second half of September is expected to see an additional 2.12 mnt of Indonesian coal imports.
- Indonesian coal demand surge is primarily driven by depleting stocks at Indian ports and power plants, coupled with a surge in trading activities. As Indian industries continue to rely on this source of energy, the demand shows no signs of waning.
- Australian Coal Influx: Australia is another significant contributor to India’s coal imports, with 1.81 mnt recorded in the first half of September. The following emerged as the top buyers:
- Tata Steel: 0.37 mnt
- JSW Steel: 0.36 mnt
- SAIL: 0.32 mnt
- The second half of September is expected to bring an additional 0.57 mnt of Australian coal to Indian ports.
- South African Coal Surges: South Africa has experienced a remarkable surge in coal shipments to India, recording 1.03 mnt during this period. Adani Enterprise played a pivotal role as the largest importer, bringing in 0.3 mnt. The Indian sponge iron sector, in particular, exhibited strong demand for South African coal due to depleting stocks at ports.
Russian & US Contributions
Russia saw a 73% increase in coal shipments to 1.04 mnt during the first half of September, compared to 0.6 mnt in August 2023. Similarly, the US recorded a significant rise of 83%, reaching 1.15 mnt compared to 0.63 mnt in August 2023.
The surge in coal vessel arrivals is expected to continue shortly, driven by depleting stocks at ports and the upcoming festive season. However, imports may face challenges due to material scarcity and mine suspensions in Australia. The global coal market dynamics and India’s energy needs will continue to shape the future of coal imports in the country.
The surge in coal imports at Indian ports reflects the nation’s ongoing reliance on coal as a crucial energy source. As we navigate the evolving energy landscape, the balance between supply and demand in the coal market will play a pivotal role in India’s industrial and economic activities.