Two trade sources and one government source claimed India’s main steelmaker, Tata Steel NSE 1.54 percent, purchased roughly 75,000 tonnes of coal from Russia in the second half of May, weeks after vowing to quit doing business with Russia.
Tata Steel announced in April that it has sought alternative raw materials for all of its manufacturing locations in India, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands to end its reliance on Russia, and that it had made “a strategic choice to stop doing business with Russia.”
Nonetheless, Tata Steel shipped about 75,000 tonnes of PCI coal, used in steelmaking, from Russia’s Vanino port in May, with 42,000 tonnes offloaded in Paradip on May 18 and 32,500 tonnes in Haldia, according to two trade sources who asked to remain anonymous because they were not authorised to speak on the matter.
Tata Steel’s spokesman claimed the arrangement to buy coal from Russia was made before the company’s announcement to terminate ties with Russia, but he didn’t elaborate.
“Tata Steel has made no more PCI Coal purchases from Russia since the announcement,” the spokesman told Reuters in an emailed statement.
India has remained silent on Russia’s “special operations” in Ukraine, despite the fact that the two countries have long had political connections. Instead, India has justified its purchases of Russian goods as a means of diversifying supplies, claiming that a sudden halt would drive up costs and harm consumers.
The only major steelmaker to say it would quit doing business with Russia was Tata Steel. According to trade data examined by Reuters, other Indian steelmakers have been purchasing large amounts of coal from Russia.
According to trade reports, the PCI coal was imported aboard the Panamax Ostria. Tata Steel purchased 75,000 tonnes of coal from Russia in May, according to a government source, but no further information were provided.
There have been no previous reports on Tata Steel’s Russian coal imports.
Reuters reported on Saturday that despite Western sanctions on Russia, purchases of Russian coal by Indian clients, particularly steelmakers, have increased in recent weeks as brokers offer discounts of up to 30%.
Indian steelmakers are in desperate need of cheap coal supply right now, as they are suffering from export tariffs imposed by the government last month to combat local inflation.
Since the decision to levy export tariffs on May 21, the Nifty metals index has fallen over 20%, with Tata Steel plunging roughly 26%, JSW Steel NSE 4.15 percent falling 13%, and Jindal Steel and Power NSE 2.78 percent losing 21% of its value since the announcement.
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