India’s main steelmaker Tata Steel imported about 75,000 tons of coal from Russia in the second half of May, two trade sources and one government source said, weeks after pledging to stop doing business with Russia.
Tata Steel had said in April that all of its manufacturing sites in India, the UK and the Netherlands had purchased alternative raw materials to end its reliance on Russia, adding that it “made a conscious decision to stop doing business.” with Russia”.
Still, Tata Steel shipped about 75,000 tons of PCI coal, used for steel production, from Russia’s Vanino port in May, of which 42,000 tons were unloaded at a port in Paradip on May 18 and 32,500 tons at Haldia, the two trading sources said. who wished to remain anonymous as they were not authorized to speak on the matter.
A spokesman for Tata Steel said the deal to import coal from Russia was made before the company’s announcement to cut business ties with Russia, without providing further details.
“There has been no other purchase of PCI Coal by Tata Steel from Russia since the announcement,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement to Reuters.
India has refrained from condemning Russia – with which it has long had political ties – over what Moscow describes as its “special operations” in Ukraine. India has instead defended its purchase of Russian goods as an attempt to diversify supplies, arguing that a sudden shutdown would push prices up and hurt consumers.
Tata Steel was the only major steel producer to announce it would stop doing business with Russia. Other Indian steelmakers import large amounts of coal from Russia, trade data reviewed by Reuters shows.
The PCI coal was imported on a vessel called Panamax Ostria, the trading sources said. The government source confirmed that Tata Steel had imported 75,000 tons of coal from Russia in May, but did not provide further details.
Details about Tata Steel’s Russian coal imports have not been previously reported.
Purchases of Russian coal by Indian buyers, including steelmakers, have risen in recent weeks despite Western sanctions against Moscow as traders offer discounts of up to 30%, Reuters reported on Saturday.
Cheap coal supplies are now especially crucial for Indian steelmakers as they move away from export tariffs imposed by the Indian government last month to curb local inflation.
The Nifty Metal Index is down more than 20 percent since the decision to impose export taxes on May 21, with Tata Steel falling about 26 percent, JSW Steel falling 12 percent and shares of Jindal Steel and Power 21 percent. have lost their value. the announcement.