News National India reduces Australian coal imports

India reduces Australian coal imports

I miner handling a lump of coal.
India is looking to the US and Canada, as it scales back its Australian coal imports. Photo: Getty
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India has moved to reduce its dependence on Australian coal by increasing shipments of coking coal from the United States and Canada, with those countries’ share rising to a sixth of all Indian imports of the fuel.

Australia’s share in India’s coking coal market fell to 71 per cent , or 36.91 million tonnes, during the year ended March 2019 – from about 88 per cent three years ago, according to India coal ministry data.

The United States and Canada had a 5.6 per cent share of the market three years ago.

Regular interruptions in India’s main supplier over the last few years, including a flood in a major coal producing region in February and a cyclone which tore into Queensland in 2017, have caused worries about major supply disruptions in India.

Customs Data on Tuesday showing China’s imports of Australian coking coal in May plunged 49.3 per cent from a month earlier, as buyers held off purchases because of uncertainty regarding government policy on Australian imports.

Australian coal imports have been subject to delays because of extended inspections at ports amid trade tensions between China and Australia.

Australian thermal coal exports to India could rise once Adani Enterprises’ Carmichael mine starts exporting, which the company expects to do in two years.