01-10-2021 India faces severe coal shortage as global prices of fuel rise amid rebound of industries and supply issues, Maersk Brokers
India has found itself critically low on inventories of coal amid a surge in power demand from industries and slow imports due to record global prices. Over half of India’s 135 coal-fired power plants have fuel stocks of less than three days. The spike in prices follows the global rebound of industrial growth that has tightened the supplies of coal and liquified natural gas.
Competing with India for coal is China, the world’s largest consumer of the commodity, and under energy pressure as the nation deals with power outages due to rising energy demand and low fuel stocks. According to S&P, Indian coal inventories will only gradually improve by next March.
Coal accounts for over 70% of India’s electricity output. Market experts anticipate Australian and Indonesian thermal coal prices to increase over the remainder of the fiscal year. Already, prices of Australian Newcastle coal have risen by 50% and Indonesian export prices by 30% in the last three months.
Indonesian suppliers also face heavy rains that have hampered production causing output to fall 10%-40% in the past month.