According to vessel arrival data from Dubai-based coal trader American Fuels & Natural Resources, India’s thermal coal imports rose by more than 15 per cent in the Quarter 1 of 2018, with Indonesia accounting for approximately three-fifths of total supplies.
Reuters reported that India’s rising coal imports were “contributing to higher demand across Asia, which has pushed benchmark Australian coal cargo prices above $100 per tonne, a price not seen at this time of year in more than half a decade”.
Data from the American fuels showed that imports rose to 39.6 million tonnes during the three months ended March 31, up from 34.4 million tonnes of thermal coal during the first three months of 2017.
Indian Government data for the first three months of 2018 has not been released yet.
Reuters speculates that India will likely increase 2018 thermal coal imports after two straight years of declines “because of domestic logistic bottlenecks, regulatory changes and surging power demand”.
South Africa was the second-largest source of foreign coal during the first quarter, supplying about one-fourth of the total imports, with the United States and Australia being the next largest sources, the data showed.
Adani Enterprises, India’s largest coal trader, accounted for about one-sixth of all the imports, purchasing about 6.51 million tonnes during the period.