Indian coking coal imports moving through 12 key state-controlled ports rose by 14.25pc year on year in fiscal year 2018-19 beginning in April as steel capacity expansions lifted volumes, particularly at the port of Kolkata.
The total volume of coking coal handled by the ports from April 2018 to March 2019 was 57.5mn t, up from 50.34mn t for the same period a year earlier, preliminary data from the Indian Ports Association (IPA) show.
The IPA data do not include a breakdown of which countries exported the coal to India. Only nine of the 12 ports covered by the IPA data received coking coal shipments in the 2018-19 fiscal year.
The port of Kolkata handled the single largest share of coking coal imports during the period at 20.44mn t, a 52.5pc increase from 13.4mn t in the previous year. This included 17.13mn t received at Haldia and 3.31mn t arriving at the Kolkata dock system.
State-controlled Steel Authority of India (Sail) increased crude steel production at its Durgapur steel plant in West Bengal to 2.4mn t/yr in 2018-19 from 1.8mn t/yr a year earlier, while crude steel output at Sail's IISCO steel plant near Kolkata increased to 2.5mn t/yr from 426,000 t/yr in the previous year.
Paradip imported the second-largest volume of coking coal in 2018-19 at 12.71mn t, but this was down from 13.17mn t in the previous year. Shipments to Mormugao in Goa state similarly fell to 6.07mn t from 8.51mn t previously.
Coking coal imports at the port of Vizag were flat at 6.19mn t during the twelve-month period, but imports at Chidambaranar in Tamil Nadu rose by 72.5pc to 4.64mn t. April-March volumes at Mumbai and New Mangalore were 4.09mn t and 1.51mn t, respectively.
The port of Ennore received 1.08mn t of coking coal in 2018-19, while the port Deendayal imported 818,000t, but the ports of Chennai, Cochin and Jawaharla Nehru did not take any coking coal imports during the 12-month period.