The latest region making its presence felt in the global energy industry is that of India, which is anticipated to be the largest coking coal importer via sea route by the year 2022. Reportedly, the current demand for coking coal in the nation stands at about 56 million tons, out of which 85 percent is imported.

While addressing the 12th India coal market conference organized by mJunction, Chief of Tata Steel’s raw material strategy group Somesh Biswas reportedly stated that China is presently the biggest importer of coking coal from Australia. However, the demand from China has been plummeting gradually owing to several factors. Consequentially, this would result in India acquiring the top spot as the largest coking coal importer via sea route by 2022, Biswas further added.

If sources are to be believed, India’s coke and coal imports during the first half of the current fiscal enhanced by 13.9 percent to 119.42 meters, compared to 104.81 meters over the same timeframe. Owing to the rapid expansion of the construction industry, the requirement for steel and steel derived products has been on the rise in India lately. This has, in turn, resulted in an increased demand for coking coal in the nation which is slated to grow up to 67 million tons by 2022.

Former Chairman of Coal India, N C Jha reportedly commented that India would remain heavily reliant on imported coking coal in the near future. The national steel policy projects that the demand for non-coking coal for DRI route would be 105 million tons per annum, 31 million tons per annum of non-coking coal for PCI, and 161 million tons per annum of coking coal up to 2030.

For the record, the foremost challenge currently faced by Indian coal and steel manufacturers is the ambitious target of attaining 35 percent of the 161 million tons per annum coking coal by 2030-31, which comes out to be 56.35 million tons per annum. In this context, it would be prudent to mention that India would depend on imported coking coal as it plans to manufacture 300 million tons per annum of crude steel by 2030.

As per reliable sources, coal is known to be the most uniformly spread conventional energy resource across the globe. However, metallurgical coal or coking coal has a skewed distribution across various geographies and is predominantly concentrated in countries along the likes of Russia, Mongolia, Canada, Australia, China, and Mozambique.