With prices of thermal coal in the international market almost hitting rock bottom, consuming nations such as power crisis stricken India are expected to jump on the opportunity to increase its imports of the raw commodity.
Coal is seen waiting to be loaded onto ships at the Port of Brisbane
Earlier, India had been reported to possibly import in the fiscal year to March 2013 around 96 million tonnes to 100 million tonnes of coal, including coking coal and thermal coal. The figures, however, could still grow as prices of thermal coal have been pegged to remain well below $100 per tonne for the next 10 to 12 months.
Coal of the grade 6,000 kcal/kg at present trades at $88 per tonne to $89 per tonne. "We do not expect it to go down any further," Vinod K. Singh, adviser to Indian global chemical and textile company GHCL, told Reuters News.
India's coal demand has been forecast to hit 772 million tonnes, way above an expected supply of only 580 million in the financial year to March 2013. Its coal supply, on one end, is expected to fall short by 192 million tonnes in the same period.
"More and more consumers are looking at imports from mainly Indonesia and Mozambique to fulfill at least 50 per cent to 60 per cent of their thermal coal demand," V.R. Sharma, chief executive and deputy managing director of the steel business at Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL), said in Reuters News.
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