India is the third largest importers of coal in the world. Coal is the most demanded energy sources throughout the world. India demands for coal for its various sectors such as power, steel and cement throughout the year which is gradually increasing with time.
Steel 360 had conducted an interview with Mr. Bibhash Mitra, Country Head-India, AGE Coal, Thailand, regarding the imports of coal in India.
Asia Green Energy Public Company Limited, Thailand (AGE) is a part of the ‘KOK HUAD GROUP’ and one of Thailand’s leading integrated producers and marketers of Coal worldwide. It is a listed company on the Thailand Stock Exchange with coal supply majorly to China, Thailand, Poland & India.
Following is the excerpt of the conversation:
Q. What do you think of the present coal import scenario in India?
Presently, India imports around 100 MnT of thermal coal per annum. Now, power consumption in India is around 900 bn units and it is envisaged that by 2030 it will increase to 3,600 bn units’ i.e. 4 times the present consumption. As such in 12th five year plan (2012-2017) Government of India (GOI) has planned to increase power generation by about 78,000 MW. Out of this, around 64,000 MW will come from coal based power plants. It is expected that import of coal will increase in coming days because of certain limitation of indigenous coal.
Q. With growing demand, where do you see the prices reach by the end of FY 14?
I don’t think that there will be gradual uptick in imported coal prices considering the current demand in India. In fact, imported coal prices shoot up or down depending on various factors such as the demand from China. Import volume in China varies according to prices of indigenous coal, stock piles at ports/plants etc. Sometimes, China goes out of market when there is a fall in local coal prices. However, the demand generally increases in winter.
As such, even when there is demand in India but no demand from China, chances of a price increase is very less. For instance, in the last two years, the FOBT price of GAD 6,300 K cal/kg was US$ 90-95 level around this time but now the price of this grade is US$ 71-72.