Indian imports of coal will continue to rise, reckons the world’s largest private sector coal miner Peabody Energy. Glenn Kellow, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the company, said Indian imports of coal rose a sharp 21 per cent in February, “nearly offsetting reduced demand from China” He made the comments in an earnings call with analysts as reproduced in Seeking Alpha last week. His comments show that despite attempts by the Indian government to push production of domestic coal, global miners see no cause for worry.
“Through March, Indian imports were up 6 million tonnes compared to the prior year, as utilities rebuild stockpiles and domestic production fails to keep pace with demand,” Kellow added.
The ministry of coal has not yet released data on the total imports by India for 2017-18. But, according to a reply to a question in Parliament, the total import of both coking coal, used by the steel industry, and of non-coking coal, used by other sectors like power plants, has come down 6.37 per cent as of March 31, 2107. Peabody’s upbeat note indicates the trend is likely to be reversed.
The US firm had filed for bankruptcy protection in April 2016, but the revival of the global market for minerals, including coal, has turned it around. US Energy Secretary Rick Perry on a recent tour of India had remarked that he was pleased about coal imports that had begun from the US to India. India and other Asian countries are also importing other energy fuels, including oil and gas, from the US. Perry said some of those imports would cut the adverse US trade deficit with countries like India, which had a surplus of $22 billion in balance of payments with the US. Read More
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