The India coal boom appears to be right on schedule, according to recent data.
India has just completed the first half of its fiscal year, running April to September. And the numbers on coal imports look extremely encouraging.
The Indian Ports Association reported last week that coal imports into the country have taken a huge jump this year. Up 44% for the first half of fiscal 2013, as compared to the same period last year, to 36.8 million tonnes.
This significant jump in imports is a confirmation that India needs coal. In fact, the huge increase in imports suggests that India could well be the most important factor today in the global market.
If Indian imports have indeed nearly doubled during the first half of FY2013, it infers that incremental demand here is probably keeping pace with supply increases in places like Indonesia and Australia. In fact, Indian demand may be outpacing the deliverability of these markets.
That suggests global coal supply is a lot tighter than current pricing in the thermal market might imply.
Something to keep in mind as we place our bets on coal projects and coal producers globally over the coming months.
Here's to the coming supply shortage,
By. Dave Forest