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Coal imports to India in October 2023 reached highest levels in nearly a year and a half

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NEW DELHI: In October, coal imports to India reached 13.8 mt in October 2023, according to Oceanbolt, a Veson Nautical solution, the highest level since May 2022 and an increase of 43.5% year on year.

Earnings for Bulkers have strengthened since the start of the traditionally stronger Q4. Larger Bulkers have seen the most dramatic increased with Panamax earnings up by c. 18.54% from the start of October to 16,386 USD/Day.

More than half of the coal is coming from Indonesia, representing 56% of coal imports to India this year alone. Although the iron ore trade to China has traditionally been the cornerstone of the Bulker market, particularly for Capes, it seems that coal imports to India are providing increasing support to the market.

Coal is dominating Bulker demand to India, accounting for 90% of Capesize trades this year, 76% of Panamax trades, 49% of Supramax trades and 1% for Handysizes.

In their latest quarterly forecast, VesselsValue, a Veson Nautical solution, the potential for imports to increase further in coming years. The Indian economy is growing at around 6.5% per year and as a result this will increase their demand for energy both for power, with coal accounting for around three quarters of their energy consumption and also for growing industrial activity.

As India is highly reliant on coal, standing for ¾ of their energy consumption, VesselsValue predicts that Indian coal imports are expected to increase by 12% per annum between 2023-2025.

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