India’s Russian coal imports stagnate

As Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine falters against a counteroffensive, fossil fuel revenues could take another hit as imports of Russian thermal coal into India appear to fall for the first time in four months.

Quoted in a note to customers by ReutersCoalmint now says it expects India’s imports of Russian thermal coal to fall 30% in September from the previous month to 1.4 million tons.

A second consultancy, DBX Commodities, told Reuters that Indian deliveries of fuel for power generation should fall from 1.9 million tons in August to 1.5 million tons in September.

In JuneIndia’s imports of thermal coal from Russia hit an all-time high, and in July Russia achieved status as the third largest supplier of coal to India.

On Wednesday, Reuters quoted an unnamed Indian source as saying India has imported about $2.4 billion worth of Russian coal since the invasion of Ukraine in late February, a value four times higher than in the same period of 2021.

It is a challenging time for more losses to the war chest, which is heavily funded by fossil fuels and heavily dependent on sales to India and China.

The new estimates of India’s reduced coal imports from Russia come just over two months from the implementation of a European Union ban on Russian crude oil by sea and a planned price cap for Russian oil by the G7.

With the recent defeat at Kharkiv in Ukraine, where Russian forces were driven back and large swaths of territory lost, Russian President Vladimir Putin is now under intense pressure to maintain the upper hand. So far, this has led to the first call for troop mobilization since World War II, sparking mass protests and arrests in Russia, as conscription men try to flee the country en masse.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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