Moscow has already become the third largest supplier of coking coal to New Delhi in the first eight months of 2023
India plans to increase purchases of Russian coking coal, which is vital for the steel industry, chairman of the Steel Authority of India (SAIL) Amarendu Prakash told reporters on Monday.
According to Prakash, Russia offers cheaper prices on the raw material than Australia, from which India is currently sourcing the bulk of its supplies.
SAIL, the country’s largest state-owned steel producer, now expects four shipments of Russian coking coal of 75,000 tons each to arrive by December.
India imports some 70 million tons of coking coal annually, as domestically produced sources are of poor quality. More than half of India’s coking coal imports come from Australia, while other major suppliers include the US, Canada, Mozambique – and now Russia.
Indian steelmakers have been capitalizing on lower Russian coking coal prices and faster deliveries since last year. According to the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Russia became the third largest supplier of coking coal to India in the first eight months of 2023, with shipments jumping by 2.3 times year-on-year to 4.3 million tons. Russia’s contribution to India’s overall coking coal imports climbed from 5% to 11.2% during the reporting period.
Prakash noted that SAIL alone has already received eight shipments of the raw material from Russia since April this year.
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The surge in India’s imports of both coking and thermal coal from Russia resulted from a shift in trade. Moscow has redirected exports from EU countries due to Ukraine-related sanctions, and offered substantial discounts to Asian buyers.
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