India has emerged as one of the highest global importers of coking coal (and pulverised coal injection) at 69 million tonnes (mt), accounting for 22 per cent of the world’s shipments in the calendar year 2022, as per data collated by market research firm CoalMint.

On a year-on-year basis, coking coal imports by the country increased 2 per cent from 68 mt-odd in 2021.

China is the second largest importer of coking coal at 63.8 mt, up 17 per cent YoY, as against 54.7 mt in 2021.

Total traded volume (coking coal) globally increased 8 per cent on a YoY basis to 319 mt (from 295.7 mt).

Coking coal is one of the key raw materials in steel making; whereas pulverised coal injection or PCI is another such raw material. India is the world’s second largest producer of crude steel (124 mt in 2022, up 6 per cent YoY).

According to trade sources, global recessionary pressures and the levy of import duty saw export dip in 2022. Most of the steel demand was domestically driven and as a result coking coal demand “remained more or less steady.”

“Coking coal imports by India from Australia are also expected to remain stable in 2023, with the FTA between the countries leading to duty-free flow of coal,” the CoalMint, the coal vertical of SteelMint, report said.

Trade sources told businessline that prices remained strong “largely because of global energy prices” and shortages caused by the Russia-Ukraine war. China withdrawing restrictions on importing coal from Australia is also seen to have a positive effect for global coking coal prices.

Australia continues to be the prime supplier of coking coal, although it has lost 8 per cent-odd market share globally. Supplies from Australia to India were down 19 per cent YoY to 43.7 mt in 2022..

Russian supplies to Europe and Brazil were zero in 2022, the data said.

Indian sourcing

Indian steel millers have substantially increased sourcing from Russia. Shipments were up 154 ​​per cent to 9.7 mt, making the country the second largest supplier after Australia in 2022.

As per CoalMint data, USA was the third largest supplier of coking coal at 7 mt, up 126 per cent YoY.

Mozambique and Indonesia were among the other suppliers at 2.9 mt and 2.7 mt, respectively.

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