The Coal Trader

India’s Share of Seaborne Coal Imports Reaches 18%

India has confirmed its position as the second largest importer of coal, during 2023. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Banchero Costa said that “global coal trade has really picked up pace in recent months, and is now fully back to pre-Covid levels. In Jan-Nov 2023, total global seaborne coal loadings increased by +5.8% y-o-y to 1,224.5 mln t (excluding cabotage), based on vessel tracking data from AXS Marine. This was well above the 1,157.1 mln t loaded in Jan-Nov 2022, the 1,154.9 mln t in Jan-Nov 2021, and the 1,082.1 mln t in Jan-Nov 2020. It was also a little above the 1,195.2 mln t loaded in Jan-Nov 2019”.

Source: Banchero Costa

According to the shipbroker, “in Jan-Nov 2023, exports from Indonesia increased by +10.1% y-o-y to 452.2 mln t, whilst from Australia were up +5.0% y-o-y to 313.3 mln t. From Russia exports declined by -1.3% y-o-y to 171.5 mln t in Jan-Nov 2023, from the USA increased by +15.5% y-o-y to 79.1 mln t, and from South Africa declined by -1.8% y-o-y to 54.5 mln t. Shipments from Mozambique surged by +14.0% t-o-y in Jan-Nov 2023 to a record 21.0 mln t. Seaborne coal imports into Mainland China jumped by +50.9% y-o-y to 333.8 mln t in Jan-Nov 2023. Imports to Japan declined by -9.6% y-o-y to 147.3 mln t in Jan-Nov 2023, to South Korea by -4.6% y-o-y to 107.0 mln t, to the EU -29.1% y-o-y to 82.4 mln t, to Vietnam increased by +45.4% y-o-y to 42.5 mln t”.

The shipbroker noted that “India is the world’s second largest seaborne importer of coal after Mainland China, accounting for 17.9% of the global seaborne coal market so far in 2023. Import volumes into India were relatively depressed during 2020 and 2021, due to disruption from Covid19, but bounced back to near alltime records in 2022. Total seaborne coal imports into India in the 12 months of 2022 reached 225.4 mln tonnes, +10.3% yo-y, according to AXS Marine vessel tracking data. In Jan-Nov 2023, India imported 219.2 mln t of coal, up +4.5% y-o-y from 209.8 mln t in Jan-Nov 2022. About 60 percent of coal imports into India are delivered to the East coast of the country, primarily to the states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. The majority of the rest is discharged in the North-Western state of Gujarat, India’s most industrialized state, which alone accounts for 30 percent of India’s total coal imports”.

Source: Banchero Costa

“The main coal import terminals in India are: Mundra in Gujarat (21.5 mln t discharged in Jan-Nov 2023), Krishnapatnam (20.5 mln t), Paradip (20.2 mln t), Dhamra in Odisha (18.9 mln t), Visakhapatnam (18.7 mln t), Gangavaram in Andhra Pradesh (17.2 mln t), Hazira (11.7 mln t), Jaigad (11.4 mln t), Ennore (9.1 mln t), Kandla (8.6 mln t), Tuticorin (7.3 mln t), Mumbai (6.4 mln t), Dahej (5.9 mln t), New Mangalore (5.8 mln t), Mormugao (5.5 mln t). 35% of coal volumes into India are loaded on Capesize vessels, with 44% on Panamax or Post-Panamax vessels, and 21% on Handy or Supramax tonnage. Trade patterns for Indian imports saw significant shifts due to both commercial and political factors. Indonesia continues to be the top exporter of coal to India, accounting for 41.3% of total Indian imports in Jan-Nov 2023. In Jan-Nov 2023, shipments from Indonesia to India declined by -7.7% y-o-y to 90.4 mln tonnes, but are still above the 67.6 mln t in Jan-Nov 2021. About 21.0% of imports, 46.0 mln t, were shipped from Australia, representing an decline of -7.3% y-oy from 49.6 mln t in Jan-Nov 2022, and well below the 69.5 mln t in JanNov 2021. Shipments from Russia surged by a further +39.8% y-o-y to 23.8 mln tonnes in Jan-Nov 2023, and well above the 6.6 mln t in Jan-Nov 2021, with Russia now accounting for 10.9% of Indian coal imports. South Africa exported 24.3 mln tonnes of coal to India in Jan-Nov 2023, up +30.0% y-o-y. Imports from the USA increased by +47.1% y-o-y to 18.6 mln t”, Banchero Costa concluded.