Indonesia, South Africa Seek To Reclaim Lost Ground In Indian Coal Market

Indonesia, South Africa Seek To Reclaim Lost Ground In Indian Coal Market

Indonesia and South Africa, leading coal exporters, target expanding thermal coal sales to India to regain lost market share. The competition intensified with the United States, Russia, and Australia seizing ground due to geopolitical shifts in trade routes.

South Africa, leveraging its low sulphur, high calorific value coal, eyes India’s growing steel industry. Kgabi Masia from Exxaro Resources anticipates supplying 60 million metric tonnes by March 2025. However, South Africa’s share in India’s thermal coal imports dropped to 16% in 2023 from 22% pre-pandemic, while Indonesia’s declined to 58% from 65%.

Ardian Rosadi Budiman, from Adaro Energy, projects Indonesia supplying up to 110 million metric tonnes to India in 2023, a 7% increase from 2022. Indonesia, the world’s largest thermal coal exporter, aims for a record output of 710 million metric tonnes this year. Despite domestic demand, Budiman is confident in India’s steady appetite for Indonesian coal.

Following Russia’s conflict with Ukraine, South Africa diverted coal supplies to Europe, reducing India’s share. Due to increased exports to China, Indonesia lost ground to Australia.

It emphasises the fluidity of global energy markets and the strategic importance of securing key trade partnerships. For Indonesia and South Africa, the Indian market remains crucial, prompting them to optimise strategies for sustained growth amid evolving market dynamics.