India, the world’s second-largest importer of coal after China, recorded record imports of thermal coal in June, which is mainly used for power generation.
Thermal coal imports in June stood at 19.22 million tonnes, up 35% from May’s 14.23 million and 56% higher than June 2021.
Asian countries are generally more sensitive to high prices, as we can see, among other things, in the actions of Asian countries in recent months, where, for example, imports of discounted Russian oil to Asia have increased significantly, as we can see in China where Russia has become the largest oil supplier.
Coal at extreme levels
Spot prices for thermal coal have been rising faster than oil of late, pushing this essential commodity for electricity generation to its extreme levels.
Argus, an agency that provides information on commodity prices, has released information regarding the weekly index of Australian thermal coal at Australia’s largest port, Newcastle.
The weekly price through July 8 was $410.8 per tonne. That’s up 194% from $138.8 in the same week last year and more than 750% higher than the $48 in July 2020.
India is buying less coal from Australia but instead buying more from Indonesia
India imported 1.9 million tonnes of coal from Australia in June, down from 3.39 million tonnes in June last year.
This was also due to the energy problems in Australia which we informed you about in an earlier article. The latter is experiencing problems associated with high world prices, the earlier than expected arrival of winter and, not least, flooding in coal mines which is limiting production.
Coal from Indonesia is cheaper and of lower quality. In June, India imported 14.25 million tonnes, a significant increase in volume from 4.37 million tonnes in June 2021. Indonesian coal is trading at levels around $85 per tonne.