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India Met Coke Production is Likely to Decline by 20-25 Percent in 2022 Due to Cheaper Import

Due to the cheaper imports, Indian met coke production is likely to decline by 20-25 percent. Metallurgical coke is a crucial raw ingredient for the production of iron and steel. The Indian producers are protesting the elimination of the import duty on the commodity since it reduces their ability to compete with foreign suppliers.

To lower the input costs for steelmakers as part of broader attempts to control steel pricing and the ensuing domestic inflation, the Indian Government eliminated the 5% import duty on coke in May 2022 of this year. The government also removed an import tax of 2.5 percent on coking coal.

After a rough third quarter, the seaborne metallurgical coal market started the fourth quarter on a more stable footing because of weather-related supply disruptions, fuel concerns, and year-end restocking demand from India and China.

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The benchmark Platts premium low-volatile hard coking coal prices, based on FOB Australia, fell USD 31.5/mt, or 10%, on the quarter to USD 270.50/mt, while PLV CFR China fell USD 86/mt, or 22%, to USD 308/mt.

The overall number of spot transactions reached 2.72 million mt in Q3, an increase of 22% from Q2 as a result of prices dropping to levels that encouraged demand. A majority of 88% of the transactions reported for Q3 were found to be for premium hard coking coal.

Since the start of the year, the spot market has seen an uptick in activity; in Q2 there were 2.2 million mt, and in Q1 there were 1.7 million mt, compared to just 1.1 million mt for Q4 2021.

Nevertheless, the total estimated 2022 spot deal volume is still below that of 2021 at 10.73 million mt on an annualised basis. This is primarily because China imported much less premium hard-coking coal and pulverised coal injection coal.

There have been speculations that European steel mills are selling their extra self-produced met coke because of European coke factories continued to generate gas for electricity generation. At the end of Q3, it was seen that numerous distressed met coke shipments headed for Europe, and were redirected to Asia, particularly India and China. Additionally, more Columbian and Polish met coke spot offers were heard in the same region, according to market experts.

Under previously agreed-upon long-term contracts, Russian materials have continued to be delivered to Japanese and South Korean end-users. Spot transactions have also been seen in Southeast Asian markets like Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia, with telegraphic transfers in Singapore dollars among the payment methods.

Between January 2022 and July 2022, Russia supplied close to 47% of India's imports of PCI, and in the July month, China imported a record-breaking 2 million mt of Russian coking coal.

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As per Procurement Resource, Indian met coke production is projected to decrease by 20-25 percent as a result of the less expensive imports. A necessary raw material for the production of iron and steel is metallurgical coke. The removal of the import duty is being imposed by the Indian producers since it makes it difficult for them to compete with overseas suppliers.

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