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VOL VIII ISSUE 11 MAY 2020
Coal Feels COVID-19 Heat
After beginning on a strong note, coal imports to India started feeling the COVID-19 heat from March 2020 onwards. Coking coal imports were considerably affected, as berthing and uploading activities were halted at several key ports and, with all the major steel mills having scaled down their operations, demand was low. Australian prices continued to decline throughout last month, as Asia's major consumer regions of India, Japan and South Korea, saw muted buying interest amid coronavirus-induced production cuts by multiple steel makers outside of China. In steam coal, consignments from Indonesia and South Africa were hit. While Indonesia miners continue to produce and are upbeat on maintaining the average selling price, exports from South Africa, which, like India, went into lockdown, have been impacted. Of RBCT’s total 5-6 MnT of thermal coal exports, 60% come to India. With the virus-induced collapse in industrial demand for power in Europe, as well as global logistics issues, there can be serious supply and demand disruptions in the coming months. In India too, lockdown blues resulted in power demand declining 25-35% in the first half of April and will continue to remain low till industrial activity resumes fully. Our Cover Story on pg. 40 takes a 360-degree look at the COVID-19 impact on coal.
In Intervista, on pg. 30, the spotlight is on Malay Mukherjee, Independent Non-Executive Director, JSW Steel, who feels the sheer magnitude and complexity of the COVID-19 crisis is unparalleled. Severely disrupted global logistics will contribute to the growth challenges across sectors.
World View, our international section, on pgs. 36 and 56, explores the steel demand outlook in China, where inventory levels have piled up.
Plus, we focus on a lot more. Enjoy the read!
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*Steel 360 is a monthly magazine for Iron and Steel industry professionals. Each issue comes up with an exclusive Cover Story and insightful articles from the Industry.