Tata Steel, India’s largest steelmaker, purchased roughly 75,000 tonnes of coal from Russia in the second half of May, according to two trade sources and one government source, just weeks after vowing to stop doing business with Russia.
Tata Steel stated in April that all of its manufacturing locations in India, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands had secured alternative raw material supply to remove its reliance on Russia and that it had made a strategic decision 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 requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the matter.
A Tata Steel spokesman stated that the agreement to purchase coal from Russia was reached prior to the company’s announcement to terminate economic ties with Russia, but provided no other specifics.
According to Reuters, Tata Steel has made no more PCI Coal purchases from Russia since the announcement.
India has refrained from criticizing Russia, with which it has long had political connections, over what Moscow calls its “special operations” in Ukraine. Instead, India has justified its purchases of Russian goods as a means of diversifying supplies, claiming that an abrupt halt would raise costs and harm customers.
Tata Steel was the only major steelmaker to declare that it would no longer do business with Russia. According to trade data seen by Reuters, other Indian steelmakers have been buying 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 was provided.
There have been no previous reports on Tata Steel’s Russian coal imports.
Despite Western sanctions on Russia, purchases of Russian coal by Indian clients, especially steelmakers, have increased in recent weeks, with brokers offering discounts of up to 30%, according to Reuters on Saturday.
Cheap coal supplies are especially important for Indian steelmakers right now, as the Indian government increased export duties last month to combat domestic inflation.
Since the decision to levy export tariffs on May 21, the Nifty metals index has fallen more than 20%, with Tata Steel plunging approximately 26%, JSW Steel falling 12%, and Jindal Steel and Power’s shares losing 21% of their value.