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India Lifts Coking Coal, PCI Restocking in November



By Greg Holt

January 7, 2020 - Indian steel producers increased their restocking of imported coking coal and the pulverized coal injection (PCI) grade in November, although volumes remained restricted by lower steel production rates.

Indian coking coal imports in November rose by 47pc from the previous month to 4.09mn t, up by 38pc from 2.96mn t in November 2018 but fairly average for monthly volumes in 2019, according to data from e-commerce firm Mjunction. Australia was comfortably the largest coking coal supplier to India with 2.9mn t, up by 31pc from October.

Coking coal imports from the US in November fell by 17pc from the previous month to 193,875t, while imports from Canada rose by 143pc to 468,310t over the same period. Indian buyers also took 151,756t from Mozambique, 137,447t from Indonesia and 143,800t from Russia.

The Argus spot price assessment for premium low-volatile hard coking coal averaged $131.01/t fob Australia in November, down by 7pc from $141.20/t on the same basis in October.

Indian imports of PCI rebounded from the lowest level of 2019 in October to 1.06mn t in November, as more steel mills sought to reduce feedstock coking coal and metallurgical coke costs. November PCI imports were also up by 214pc from the same month last year.

PCI imports from Australia more than doubled from the previous month to 819,447t in November, while imports from Russia edged lower by 1pc to 225,960t over the same period.

Coking coal and PCI imports were largely used to replace met coke imports, which fell by 21pc against a month earlier to 225,176t and were down by 26pc from the previous year. Poland had the biggest share of the November total with 68,346t, followed by Russia with 42,778t, Colombia with 40,473t, Australia with 27,500t and Japan with 20,453t.


Indian coking coal imports (mn t)