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Coking coal imports fall, the Indian steel industry faces challenges

Coking coal imports fall, the Indian steel industry faces challenges
Issue Time:2018-12-05

At the end of November, India’s national steel policy hadpredicted that India’s crude steel production target would be 300 million tonsby the 2030-31 fiscal year. However, the recent decline in Indian coking coalimports poses certain challenges for Indian steelmakers to achieve this goal. Accordingto data from the Indian steel industry, about 85% of India's manufacturingcoking coal demand comes from imports, and the rest comes from domesticproduction in India, including production by Coal India Ltd. However, India'slatest national steel policy plan increases the proportion of domestic cokingcoal production, reducing the proportion of imported coking coal to 50% by2030-31.

In order to achieve 300 million tons of crude steelproduction, the demand for coking coal is expected to be about 161 milliontons. However, although India's coking coal reserves are as high as 34.5billion tons, it is impossible to smelt high-quality coke because most of thelocal coal has high impurity content.

Rating agency India Credit Rating Information Services Co.,Ltd. (Crisil) said that with the increase in domestic steel production inIndia, Indian coking coal demand is expected to increase from 51 million tonsin 2017-18 to 65 million tons in FY 2022-23. It is estimated that theproportion of imported coal in India will remain at around 85-87% in the nextfive years. In absolute terms, it is expected that by 2022-23, coking coalimports are expected to increase from 47 million tons in 2017-18 to 58 milliontons.

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