To support its growing steel industry, India is increasing imports of Russian coking coal, known for its competitive pricing. This strategic move is expected to enhance the country's steel production efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
India is on course to strengthen its steel industry by augmenting the import of Russian coking coal, a key ingredient in steel manufacturing. The Chairman of the Steel Authority of India (SAIL), Amarendu Prakash, informed the media of this development. He pointed out that Russia's coking coal comes at a more competitive price than Australia, which has been India's go-to source.
SAIL, India's largest state-owned steel maker, is anticipating the delivery of four large shipments from Russia by the end of the year, each carrying 75,000 tons of coking coal. India's reliance on imported coking coal is due to the inadequate quality of its domestic production. Annually, the country imports about 70 million tons of coking coal, with more than half of it coming from Australia. Other contributors include the United States, Canada, Mozambique, and Russia.
Since last year, Indian steel companies have been increasingly turning to Russia for their coking coal needs, attracted by lower costs and faster delivery times. The Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry has reported that, in the first eight months of 2023, Russia has become the third-largest supplier of coking coal to India, with imports from Russia increasing 2.3 times year-on-year to 4.3 million tons. Russia's contribution to India's total coking coal imports has climbed significantly, from 5% to 11.2%.
SAIL has already received eight consignments of Russian coking coal since April this year, as mentioned by Prakash.
India's decision to expand its imports of coking coal from Russia reflects the country's commitment to enhancing its steel industry's growth and stability. By diversifying its sources and taking advantage of Russia's competitive prices, India is poised to strengthen its presence in the global steel market. This move is crucial for ensuring the country's ability to supply high-quality steel for its industrial and infrastructure developments.