According to the industry association ISA, India will continue to be the leading coking coal export destination in the foreseeable future, despite rising costs hitting the local steel sector the most.

Coking coal is a critical raw material used in the blast furnace route of steel production.

The Indian steel industry is exploring sustainable paths for coking coal utilization via the use of different technologies.

However, it is a long journey, Indian Steel Association (ISA) President Dilip Oommen said on Monday. “India in the near future will remain the largest coking coal export destination, one due to a significant increase in domestic steel demand and the other as China will depend more on its own resources,” he said, addressing the ISA Coking Coal Summit in the national capital.

According to Oommen, Indian steel manufacturers have already planned additional capacity in the BF-BOF route, adding that in India, BF-BoF (blast furnace) accounts for 46% of the production route, while EAF (Electric Arc Furnace) accounts for 22% and IF (Induction Furnace) utilizing thermal coal accounts for 32%.

He went on to say that India is the world’s biggest importer of met coal, which includes PCI (pulverized coal injection). Annual imports vary between 70 and 75 million tons.

He stated that the majority of the imports come from Australia, the United States, Canada, and Mozambique, among other places. Coking coal prices have risen by roughly USD 100 per tonne in the previous six months, according to SteelMint India, and now trade around USD 350 per tonne.

ISA Secretary-General Alok Sahay said “partnership between coking coal miners and its user industry steel is most important. Price discovery needs to be rationalized and transparent.

According to the latest market update from the International Energy Agency (IEA), global coal consumption, which reached an all-time high in 2022, is expected to remain at those levels in 2023, driven by robust growth in Asia’s power generation and industrial sectors, despite declines in the United States and Europe.

In 2022, coal consumption increased by 3.3% to an all-time high of 8.3 billion tons. According to the IEA’s mid-year coal market assessment, coal consumption will stay around this record level in 2023 owing to solid growth in Asia for power generation and industrial uses, balancing reductions in the United States and Europe.