Indo-Russian Relations
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India Looks to Expand Coal Imports Through Russia's Eastern Seaports

© Sputnik / Alexander Patrin / Go to the mediabankExcavator loading coal
Excavator loading coal - Sputnik India, 1920, 17.04.2024
The ports of Paradip in Odisha and Jaigarh in Maharashtra handled the biggest quantities of inbound Russian coal to India during the first three months of 2024.
The Consul General of India in Vladivostok visited the Sukhodol seaport in Russia's Far-East to discuss opportunities to expanding maritime cooperation between the two nations, according to a social media post on Wednesday.
"The overall functioning, technological capacities and capabilities of the port were presented along with its latest developments and plans for further expansion, opportunities for India - Russia maritime cooperation were also discussed," Indian Consul General Siddarth Gowrav said in a social media post.
According to its website, the soon-to-be unveiled Sukhodol Seaport Coal Terminal in the Primorsky Krai region will have an initial capacity of 12 million tonnes per annum.
The port will have facilities to enable year-round navigation and will also have a dedicated train station, enabling "small and medium-sized coal companies" to access port infrastructure.
© SputnikChennai-Vladivostok Maritime Corridor, desk
Chennai-Vladivostok Maritime Corridor, desk - Sputnik India, 1920, 17.04.2024
Chennai-Vladivostok Maritime Corridor, desk

India-Russia Coal Trade Dynamics

India imported around 6.1 million tonnes of Russian coal at 16 Indian ports in January-March 2024 period, according to data supplied to Sputnik by Gujarat-based commodities trading firm IEnergy.

Russia ranked as the fourth-biggest supplier of coal during the period, which includes its five variants, to India during the period.

Overall, India imported nearly 70 million metric tonnes of coal during the three months.
The Indian steel sector, which relies on coking coal and is the largest consumer of coal, directly imported close to 8 million metric tonnes of coal in February.

Import data indicates that Russia became the second-biggest supplier of coking coal to India, rapidly catching up with Australia which has ranked as India's top coking supplier.

In fact, Russian coking coal exports to India have increased from 1.7 million metric tonnes last February to 2.1 million tonnes in February 2024.
Significantly, Russian coal exports to India have been consistently increasing over the last five to six years. The coal trade has continued to be on an upward trajectory in spite of the threat of western restrictions.
The European Union (EU), which was the biggest importer of Russian coal before February 2022, imposed sanctions on Russian coal in April 2022.
In 2021, the Indian Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Modi approved an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Russia on cooperation regarding coking coal, a move seen as reducing production costs for Indian steel-makers.

India's Focus on Expanding Coal Trade Through Russia's Far-East

Nearly 70 percent of Russian coal exports to India have traditionally been routed through western seaports, including Ust-Luga and Murmansk, Vasudev Pamnani, a commodities' trader, told Sputnik India.
He said that the three major ports on Russia's eastern seaboard- Nakhodka, Vladivostok, and Sakhalin- have mostly exported coal to China and previously South Korea, which has toned down its imports in the wake of the Ukraine conflict.
"Only around 30-35 percent of Russian coal exported to India has been routed through the eastern seaports, though the freight charges and transportation time are much lower from there," said Pamnani.
He noted that the costs of importing coal through Russia's western ports have risen in recent months due to tensions in the Red Sea, causing many operators to take longer routes around the Cape of Good Hope.
As far as India's concerned, Russian coal imports are unloaded at ports both at the western and eastern coast.
Jaishankar at the Raisina Roundtable in Tokyo on Thursday. - Sputnik India, 1920, 07.03.2024
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