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India Planning To Double Imports Of Russian Coking Coal

India is likely to continue importing coking coal from Russia and is considering it, Union Steel Minister Ramchandra Prasad Singh said.

Published: March 27, 2022 7:26 PM IST

By News Desk | Edited by Snigdha Choudhury

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Smoke rises from a coal-powered steel plant at Hehal village near Ranchi, in eastern state of Jharkhand. (Photo: AP)

New Delhi: India is likely to continue importing coking coal from Russia and is  considering it, Union Steel Minister Ramchandra Prasad Singh said on Sunday.

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“We are moving in the direction of importing coking coal from Russia,” Prasad Singh was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters in a press conference in New Delhi.

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Last week, Union Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said India buying more volumes of crude oil from Russia is still less than one per cent of the total oil imports while the volumes from the US will rise significantly.

Replying to supplementaries during the Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha, he said India bought 419,000 tonnes of crude oil from Russia during the first 10 months of the current fiscal year that began in April 2020, which was 0.2 per cent of the total import of 175.9 million tonnes.

In 2020-21, India imported 633,000 tonnes of 0.3 per cent while in 2019-20 the purchases were 2.93 million tonnes or 1.3 per cent of total imports, he said.

The statement comes against the backdrop of Indian firms picking up distressed Russian cargoes being offered at deep discounts. While Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has bought 3 million barrels through a trader, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) has picked up 2 million barrels.

“We require a total of 5 million barrels per day. That is our (crude oil) consumption. 60 per cent of it comes from the Gulf,” he said. “Even if we were to scale these up considerably, it would still be a drop, literally a drop, in a larger bucket.”

Stating that oil imports from Russia are “minuscule”, he said, “even now, the total amount contracted will be less than three days’ supply from Russia to India and that also spread over the next three to four months.”

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