Dry Bulk Market: India’s Coal Imports a New Factor
According to the shipbroker, “in 2021, India was the second largest importer of coal in the world, just after Mainland China, and ahead of Japan and South Korea. Last year, India accounted for 15.3% of global seaborne coal shipments. India’s seaborne coal imports in the 12 months of 2021 declined by -10.3% y-o-y to 164.8 mln tonnes, from 183.8 mln tonnes in 2020. This was the second year in a row that imports to India declined. In 2019, coal imports into India also declined by -11.3% y-o-y from a record 207.3 mln tonnes in 2018. In recent years, India has tried to boost domestic coal production as well as shift to greener sources of energy such as natural gas, reducing demand for coal imports”.
Banchero Costa said that “overall energy demand has also grown more slowly in the past two years due to lockdowns and other Covid-related measures. In the first 3 months of 2022, India’s coal imports continued in the same negative trend, with volumes down by -13.5% y-o-y to 41.5 mln tonnes, from 47.9 mln tonnes in 1Q 2021. India’s share of global seaborne coal trade actually increased in 1Q 2022 to 16.3%, given the even larger drop in China’s coal imports this year. In 1Q 2022, Mainland China imported just 38.1 mln tonnes of coal, down -36.2% y-o-y from 59.7 mln tonnes in 1Q 2021. China’s share of global trade is now down to just 14.9% in 1Q 2022. In terms of sources of coal imports into India, things changed a bit”.
“Since last year, Australia has emerged as the top coal exporter to India, as they had to divert the cargoes that in the past they would have sold to China. Imports to India from Australia increased by +44.9% y-o-y to 64.9 mln t in the 12 months of 2021, from 44.8 mln tonnes in 2020. In 1Q 2022, India imported 14.2 mln tonnes of coal from Australia, down -26.5% y-o-y from a record 19.3 mln tonnes in 1Q 2021. Australia now accounts for 34.2% of India’s coal imports. The second largest source for Indian coal imports is Indonesia, accounting for a 30.3% share in 1Q 2022. This is up from a 28.8% share in the whole of 2020.
Shipments from Indonesia to India declined by -33.5% y-o-y to 47.4 mln tonnes in the 12 months of 2021, from 71.3 mln tonnes in 2020. In 1Q 2022, India imported 12.6 mln t of coal from Indonesia, -15.5% y-oy from 14.9 mln t in 1Q 2021. In third place as supplier to India is South Africa. Imports to India from South Africa declined by -35.2% y-oy to 23.0 mln t in the 12 months of 2021, from 35.5 mln tonnes in 2020. In 1Q 2022, India imported 6.6 mln tonnes of coal from South Africa, up marginally by +1.7% y-o-y from 6.5 mln tonnes in 1Q 2021, but well below the 11.2 mln t in 1Q 2020. South Africa now accounts for 15.9% of India’s coal imports. In fourth place are the USA. Shipments from the USA to India increased by +22.0% y-o-y to 13.7 mln tonnes in the 12 months of 2021, from 11.2 mln tonnes in 2020. In 1Q 2022, India imported 3.6 mln tof coal from the USA, down -2.1% yo-y from 3.7 mln t in 1Q 2021. Russia is in fifth place. In 2021, India imported 6.2 mln tonnes of coal from Russia, down -1.4% y-o-y. In 1Q 2022, India received 2.2 mln tonnes of coal from Russia, up by +99.0% y-o-y from 1.1 mln tonnes in 1Q 2021, but still below the 2.4 mln t imported from Russia in 1Q 2020”, the shipbroker concluded
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide