Indo-Russian Relations
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Tougher US Sanctions Can't Dampen India's Appetite for Russian Coal

© Sputnik / Alexander Patrin / Go to the mediabankExcavator loading coal
Excavator loading coal - Sputnik India, 1920, 21.05.2024
Russian coal exports to India increased by almost 150 percent in 2023, while coking coal exports have surged by nearly 300 percent in the last three years.
India's imports of Russian coal in April surged by 33 percent month-on-month (MoM), contrary to expectations of a decline, an Indian commodity trading firm I-Energy said in its report released on Tuesday.
"There were expectations that additional sanctions by the West on Russian suppliers would impact Russian exports. However, it appears that these sanctions have not significantly affected Indian buying patterns, as import levels have remained more or less the same after the sanctions," I-Energy said in its report, which has been shared with Sputnik India.
In February, the US Treasury imposed additional sanctions targeting Russian coal producer Siberian Coal Energy Company (SUEK) as well as National Payment Card System, which operates the Mir system.
Reports in western media citing coal traders at the time said that the tightening on US sanctions would affect Russian coal exports, which have been diverted to India and China since the Ukraine conflict.
However, latest data released by I-Energy highlighted that there were only minor fluctuations in Russian coal exports in thermal coal, coking coal and pulverised coal injections (PCI) segments in January-April 2024 period, as compared to imports during the first four months in 2023.
India's overall coal and coke imports during January-April 2024 period stood at 92.87 million metric tonnes, as compared to 81.21 million metric tonnes in January-April 2023 period.
The share of Russian imports in India's overall coal import inventory stood at nearly 10 percent in the first four months of 2024, or 8.58 metric million tonnes.
This figure represents a slight decline of 10.9 per cent as compared to January-April 2023 period, but expected to pick up economic recovery gains steam in coming months.
According to I-Energy, Indonesia remained the top supplier of coal to India in the period, followed by Australia, whose share in Indian coal market has been declining in recent months.

Coking coal (used in the steel industry) imports from Russia in January-April 2024 period rose by 16.26 percent as compared to corresponding period last year.

"PCI imports from Russia have increased by 31 percent MoM and 18 percent year-on-year (YoY) basis to 1.19 million metric tonnes in April 2024," the report said.

The I-Energy report noted that Russia's waiver of export duties on anthracite and thermal coal, which kicked in March, has led to it becoming a top supplier of anthracite for India this year.
In terms of anthracite imports, Russian imports in India registered a 10 percent increase in January-April 2024 period, as compared to the corresponding months in 2023.
Coal trade between India and Russia has been surging since both the countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on coal, which was approved by the Indian Cabinet in 2021.
Excavator loading coal - Sputnik India, 1920, 06.12.2023
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