Coal imports increase 24% to 11.6 million tonne in March

Written by Bloomberg | Updated: Apr 17 2012, 05:37am hrs
India, the worlds third-largest coal user, imported 24% more of the fuel in March as power plants increased buying before summer, according to shipping data.

Importers led by Adani Enterprises , Bhatia International, Tata Power and Steel Authority of India received 11.6 million tonne of steam and coking coal via 23 of the 27 ports listed by Interocean Group, a New Delhi-based ship broker that provided the information.

The country imported 9.34 million tonne in February.

India uses coal to fire more than half of its 1,90,596 megawatts of generation capacity, according to the Central Electricity Authority. Imports rise starting in March as temperatures climb to as much as 50 degrees celsius (122 degree fahrenheit) in some parts of the country, spurring cooling demand.

The country imported 9.21 million tonne of steam and 2.39 million tonne of coking coal, Interocean data show. Visakhapatnam on the eastern coast received the highest volumes of 1.34 million tonne in handymax, panamax and cape-size vessels.

Krishnapatnam, Ennore and Gangavaram, also on the east coast, received 9,40,146 tonne, 760,217 tonne and 662,128 tonne of the fuel respectively, the data showed.

On the western coast, Mundra port operated by the Adani Group imported 1.33 million tonne. Imports at Goa were 919,483 tonne while Tata Power and JSW Steel were among the companies that received shipments of 664,946 tonne at Haji Bunder, according to the data.

Shipments came from countries including Indonesia, Australia and South Africa, while state-owned Rashtriya Ispat Nigam and Steel Authority of India bought cargoes from Norfolk, Virginia, the data showed.

JM Baxi imported a shipment of 7,900 tonne from China at Krishnapatnam, it showed.

Power-station coal at Australias Newcastle port, an Asian benchmark price, rose 1.1% in the week ended April 6 to $105.55 a tonne, according to the globalCOAL NEWC Index.