Coal imports by India, the world’s third-largest user of the fuel, fell 13 per cent in February from the previous month as slowing economic growth hurt demand, according to port data.
Importers led by Adani Enterprises Ltd, Bhatia International Ltd, NTPC and Steel Authority of India received 9.34 million tonnes (mt) of steam and coking coal via 21 of the 28 ports listed by Interocean Group, a New Delhi-based ship broker which provided the information. The country imported 10.7 mt in January.
The country’s gross domestic product rose 6.1 per cent last quarter from a year earlier, the slowest pace in more than two years. Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee has said he expects India’s central bank to reduce interest rates, helping revive sentiment after economic growth slowed.
The country imported 6.75 mt of steam and 2.59 mt of coking coal, Interocean data show. Mundra, on the west coast, received the highest volumes of 1.07 mt of coal in handymax, panamax and cape-size coal vessels.
Paradip, Krishnapatnam, Gangavaram and Ennore on the east coast received 984,543 tonnes, 796,994 tonnes, 747,843 tonnes and 706,041 tonnes of the fuel, respectively, the data showed.
Shipments came from countries including Indonesia, Australia and South Africa, while state-owned Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd and Steel Authority of India bought cargoes from Norfolk, Virginia, the data showed.
Power-station coal at Australia’s Newcastle port, an Asian benchmark price, fell 1.05 per cent in the week ended March 16 to $104.90 a tonne, according to the globalCOAL Newcastle Index.