India’s July 2020 thermal coal imports totaled 10.56 million metric tonnes (MMT) a 44.7% increase over 7.3 MMT imported in June 2020 but were 15.2% lower than the 12.45 MMT imported in July 2019.

For the year-to-July 2020 India’s aggregate thermal coal imports totaled 85.16 MMT, lower by 20.57% compared to the 107.21 MMT imported in the same period of 2019.

The rise in July imports arrested a 4-month continuous slide in monthly imports from this year’s peak seen in February imports at 17.12 MMT. June’s import levels were a multi-tear low.

The rise in imports also resulted in an increase in stocks of thermal coal at the ports. Stocks were steadily declining from a level of about 24 MMT seen at the end of April to 19.76 MMT seen at the end of June.  These stocks have now edged up to 21.22 MMT at the end of July.

Indonesia was the largest supplier in July with 6.67 MMT accounting for more than 60% of the total imports in the month. In June, Indonesia supplied 4.16 MMT out of the 7.13 MMT imported in the month. The July 2020 figure was, however 10.57% lower than the 7.45 MMT imported in July 2019.

Indonesia’s supplies to India for the year to date aggregate 50.13 MMT which is 29% lower than the 70.61 MMT imported in the same period of 2019.

However, it should be noted the July figures show that Indonesia’s share of India’s import pie is now growing again and higher freight rates most certainly have a role to play in this shift. South Africa supplied 2.63 MMT in July which is more or less unchanged from the 2.61 MMT imported in June. This level is, however, 18.24% lower than the 3.22 MMT imported in July 2019.

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