Coal imports jump 34% in 2014-15
Coal imports into India, the world’s third largest buyer, jumped 33.5 per cent in the last fiscal year to 242.4 million tonnes as lower purchases by China depressed prices and helped consumers elsewhere, preliminary data from online trader mjunction showed.
Indian power companies typically depend on imports for about 15 per cent of their annual needs but that figure looks set to climb thanks to a continuous fall in prices, which has raised the appetite for foreign coal.
Imports in March were estimated to have risen 80 percent to 24.73 million tonnes, according to mjunction data based on information from shipping companies, ports and other sources.
Government data on imports generally comes with a lag and varies with those from private firms like mjunction, which collects data from a greater number of ports and includes additional coal grades.
“Going by existing trends and a soft trend in international markets, India’s coal import of all types in 2015-16 would be more than 260 million tonnes,” mjunction Chief Executive and Managing Director Viresh Oberoi said in an email on Tuesday.
Coal Secretary Anil Swarup estimated imports of 200 million tonnes for 2014/15 and 160 million tonnes for the 2015/16 fiscal year.
According to official data, India imported 168.4 million tonnes in 2013/14, while mjunction put the figure at 181.58 million.
CIL to import about 2 MT of coal in FY 2015-16
State-owned Coal India will import about 2 million tonnes of coal, to be supplied to power producers, in the current fiscal.
“Coal India (CIL) will import 1.6 million tonnes of coal for power producers in financial year 2015-16,” a source said.
CIL had earlier engaged MMTC through a competitive bidding for arranging such imported coal.
In the just-ended fiscal, CIL imported 0.48 million tonnes of coal for power plants, the source said.
Earlier this month, state-run MMTC had said that it has received orders for import of steam coal from CIL and Andhra Pradesh Power Development Company Ltd.
MMTC got the order to supply about 2.35 million tonnes of imported steam coal during 2015-16.
CIL had earlier asked power firms to contact its supplying companies in case they need to import coal through them for FY16.
“In order to make necessary arrangements for supply of imported coal, interested and eligible power utilities are requested to approach the supplying coal companies immediately with whom they have signed for further course of action,” Coal India (CIL) had said in a notice.
The PSU further said that it offers to supply imported coal for the year 2015-16, under the provisions of fuel supply agreement (FSA) entered with the power utilities “in the post 2009 FSA model”.
In terms of the Presidential Directives issued in 2012 and 2013, CIL board had earlier decided that under fuel supply pacts for new power plants commissioned after 2009, out of the minimum assured quantity (80 per cent of Annual Contracted quantity), 15 per cent shall be supplied from imported coal.
It was decided that such imported coal supply was to be made through a PSU importing agency under a back-to-back supply agreement with power plants opting to take imported supply from CIL.
Higher cement price aids ACC’s operating performance
The March quarter profitability of the Holcim group-owned ACC Ltd beat forecasts, in spite of a drop in cement sales. A mix of better realization on cement sold, as a result of an increase in cement prices in some regions, and cost control helped improve operating performance.
The 10% contraction in sales volumes was more than offset by the 11.5% increase in net realization, when compared with a year back. Weak sales are the result of poor demand and excess capacity. ACC’s media release puts the blame on low off-take of cement by the infrastructure and construction segments. The saving grace was perhaps the southern region, which saw an increase in demand and robust prices when compared with a year ago. Note that this region accrues for about a third of the cement conglomerate’s revenue.
However, by containing operating cost increases at a minimal 3.6%, ACC scored on profitability. According to analysts, raw material costs fell after limestone mining was resumed in the eastern region. The March quarter’s operating margin at 14.3% was around 200 basis points higher than a year back. Even the operating profit rose by 13.2%, coming significantly higher than Bloomberg’s consensus, even after net sales at Rs.2,885.4 crore was marginally lower than a year ago and also lower than analysts’ forecasts
This post was written by Atlantic Admin