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Dave Forest

Dave Forest

Dave is Managing Geologist of the Pierce Points Daily E-Letter.

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This One Nation Could Provide Hope For Coal Markets This Year

The India coal situation keeps getting more interesting. With national regulators this week announcing they’re going to need a lot more supply this coming year.

India’s Central Electricity Authority (CEA) said this week that it will raise imports by 35% for the coming fiscal year (April 1 to March 31). With total shipments jumping to 73 million tons, up from 54 million tons in fiscal 2014-15.

The increased imports will be allocated amongst a number of India’s coal consumers in the power sector. Including state generating giant NTPC, which will be allowed to import 22 million tons. Other coal importers will include generation companies owned by a number of India’s states, as well as private firms such as Reliance and Vedanta. Related: Energy Stocks May Be A Safe Haven For U.S. Investors

This jump in import targets comes on the heels of a big rise in coal use for the previous year. With data late last month showing that India’s coal imports in fiscal 2014-15 rose 19%, to around 200 million tons.

It thus appears the coming year will see India’s coal market continue to surge. Which could be a rare bit of good news for coal miners able to service users here. Related: How Should Commodity Traders Now Think About Geopolitical Risk?

News of the increased import targets coincided with reports that yet another Indian mining firm is looking to buy overseas coal assets. With state-owned Singareni Collieries Company saying that it will soon announce an expression of interest for miners abroad looking to sell assets.

Singareni said that it is seeking mines with capacity to provide supply of five million tons yearly. And that the company was particularly interested in projects within South Africa, Indonesia and Australia. Related: Is Warren Buffett Wrong About Oil Stocks?

That clearly shows which coal markets India is focused on. These being the only current suppliers positioned to sell into the Indian market.

With import needs getting tighter, watch for more India-backed project deals coming in these countries. And keep an eye out for emerging producers like East Africa, which could take advantage of this resource trend on the rise.

Here’s to outsourcing,

Dave Forest

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