In NEW DELHI: Following a pledge to avoid doing business with Russia, the largest steelmaker in India, Tata Steel, purchased around 75,000 tonnes of coal from that country in the second half of May, according to two trade officials and one government report.
To reduce its reliance on Russian raw materials, Tata Steel stated in April that all of its manufacturing facilities in India, the UK, and the Netherlands had found alternative raw material suppliers.
The company also stated that it had made “a conscientious decision to stop conducting business with Russia.”
Still, according to two trade sources who requested anonymity because they lacked the authorization to speak on the subject, Tata Steel transported about 75,000 tonnes of PCI coal, used in the production of steel, from Russia’s Vanino port in May, of which 42,000 tonnes were unloaded on May 18 in a port in Paradip and 32,500 tonnes in Haldia.
Without offering any information, a spokeswoman for Tata Steel said that the agreement to purchase coal from Russia was reached before the firm announced its decision to sever economic relations with Russia.
The official told Reuters via email that Tata Steel has not since the announcement made any more purchases of PCI Coal from Russia.
An email for comment was not answered by the Indian trade ministry. India, which has had political links with Russia for a long time, has refrained from criticizing what Moscow refers to as its “special operations” in Ukraine.
As an effort to diversify its supply, India has instead protected its purchases of Russian commodities, arguing that a sudden halt would drive up costs and harm consumers.
The only significant steel producer to declare that it will discontinue doing trade with Russia was Tata Steel. According to trade statistics seen by Reuters, other Indian steelmakers have been purchasing large amounts of coal from Russia.
According to the trade sources, a vessel called Panamax Austria was used to import PCI coal. The official source-verified but did not provide more information on, Tata Steel’s importation of 75,000 tonnes of coal from Russia in May. There haven’t been any prior reports on the purchases of Russian coal by Tata Steel.
- Reuters reported on Saturday that amid Western sanctions on Moscow, sales of Russian coal by Indian clients, particularly steelmakers, had increased recently.
For Indian steelmakers right now, who are suffering from export taxes levied by the Indian government last month to fight domestic inflation, cheap coal imports are especially important.
Since the decision to impose export tariffs on May 21, the Nifty Metals Index has dropped more than 20%, with Tata Steel plunging by roughly 26%, JSW Steel by 12%, and Jindal Steel and Power’s stocks losing 21% of their worth.