Tata Steel buys coal from Russia after vowing to cut ties: report

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Tata Steel imported coal from Russia

NEW DELHI:

India’s top steelmaker Tata Steel imported around 75,000 tonnes of coal from Russia in the second half of May, two trade sources and a government source said, weeks after pledging to stop doing business with the company. Russia.

Tata Steel said in April that all of its manufacturing sites in India, the UK and the Netherlands had sourced alternative raw materials to end its dependence on Russia, adding that he was making “a conscious decision to stop doing business with Russia”.

Yet in May, Tata Steel shipped around 75,000 tons of PCI coal, used in the steel industry, from the Russian port of Vanino, of which 42,000 tons were unloaded at a port in Paradip on May 18 and 32,500 tons in Haldia, the two trade sources said. who wished to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to speak on the subject.

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A Tata Steel spokesman said the deal to import coal from Russia was made before the company announced it was severing trade with Russia, without providing further details.

“There have been no further purchases of PCI Coal by Tata Steel from Russia following the announcement,” the spokesman said in a statement emailed to Reuters.

India has refrained from condemning Russia – with which it has long-standing political ties – for what Moscow describes as its “special operations” in Ukraine. India instead defended its purchase of Russian products as an attempt to diversify supplies and argued that a sudden halt would drive up prices and hurt consumers.

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Tata Steel was the only major steelmaker to announce it would stop doing business with Russia. Other Indian steelmakers have imported large quantities of coal from Russia, according to trade data reviewed by Reuters.

The PCI coal was imported in a vessel named Panamax Ostria, the trade sources said. The government source confirmed that Tata Steel imported 75,000 tonnes of coal from Russia in May, but gave no further details.

Details on Tata Steel’s Russian coal imports have not previously been released.

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Purchases of Russian coal by Indian buyers, including steelmakers, have increased in recent weeks despite Western sanctions on Moscow, with traders offering discounts of up to 30%, Reuters reported on Saturday.

The supply of cheap coal is particularly crucial for Indian steelmakers as they reel from export duties imposed by the Indian government last month to curb local inflation.

The Nifty Metals Index has fallen more than 20% since the decision to levy export taxes on May 21, with Tata Steel falling around 26%, JSW Steel falling 12% and shares of Jindal Steel and Power losing 21% of their value since the announcement.

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