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November 2023: Drop-In Coal Vessel Arrivals At Indian Ports
3 months ago

November 2023: Drop-In Coal Vessel Arrivals At Indian Ports

Delve into the dynamic coal import landscape at Indian ports in November 2023. From a significant drop in arrivals to the dominance of Indonesian coal, this article explores market responses, cautionary approaches, and global perspectives, providing nuanced insights for industry stakeholders.

In the dynamic realm of coal imports at Indian ports, the first half of November 2023 witnessed a notable 11% month-on-month decrease, totalling 10.84 million tonnes (mnt). Let’s explore more about the same:

Indonesian Dominance

Taking the lion’s share of imports, Indonesian coal volumes stood at 5.05 mnt during the first half of November 2023. Key players in this trade were major trading companies such as Adani Enterprises (1.41 mnt) and Adani Power (0.84 mnt). As we progress into the second half of the month, an additional 3.47 mnt of Indonesian coal is expected to be imported.

Market Dynamics

In the Indian market, specific pockets of demand for Indonesian coal emerged as mills resumed activities post the festive season. Traders, anticipating a potential rise in prices, initiated purchases. This demand surge underscores the resilience of Indonesian coal in the Indian market.

Australian Coal Imports
Here are the details:

  • Quantity Breakdown: In contrast, coal shipments from Australia recorded a quantity of 1.39 mnt in the first half of November 2023. Tata Steel emerged as the top buyer with 0.40 mnt, followed by SAIL and Tata Power at 0.26 mnt and 0.17 mnt, respectively. The second half of November 2023 is expected to witness the arrival of about 1.39 mnt of Australian coal.
  • Market Response: While Australian coal maintains a substantial presence, there is a cautious approach among Indian buyers. Anticipating additional price corrections, buyers are hesitant to commit to fixed-price deals. This cautious stance has led to a reduction in inquiry rates, resulting in a deceleration of actual transactions within the spot market. Sellers are responding by implementing measures to avoid accumulating excess cargo, indicating a potential stabilization in the near term.

South African Coal Shipments
Quantity and Cautionary Approach: South African coal shipments, totalling 1.44 mnt, experienced a 9% month-on-month drop in the first half of November 2023 compared to October’s 1.58 mnt. Adani Enterprise emerged as the largest importer at 0.19 mnt. The caution among Indian buyers, expecting further price corrections, has limited trading activities. This cautionary stance, in turn, has led to a slowdown in actual transactions within the spot market.
Global Perspectives
Shipments from the U.S. witnessed a 24% decline to 1.05 mnt in the first half of November 2023 compared to 1.39 mnt. Conversely, Mozambique experienced a 34% rise, reaching 0.55 mnt compared to October’s 0.41 mnt.

Market Outlook

Looking ahead, the import scenario may witness a decline due to tepid demand and rising domestic production. Additionally, the ample availability of Australian coal may exert upward pressure on imports.
About 0.97 mnt of thermal coal is anticipated to be shipped in the second half of November 2023 from South Africa. The cautious market sentiment may persist, affecting the overall pace of transactions.

OFB’s Insight

The intricate dynamics of coal imports at Indian ports reveal nuanced market reactions to varying global and domestic factors. From Indonesian dominance to cautious approaches in dealing with Australian and South African coal, the market landscape is ever-evolving. The global context, with fluctuations in U.S. and Mozambique shipments, further adds complexity. As the industry navigates through these dynamics, stakeholders must stay attuned to market nuances and evolving trends.

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