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Web Exclusive | February 2013

Empowered panel reduce coking coal price

According to media reports, the Empowered Joint Committee of SAIL and RINL reduced the price of coking coal imported from Australia for the use by the two state-run steel makers.

While the panel reduced the price of hard coking coal by $4—5 per tonne to $161 per tonne, that of the soft coking coal is cut by $7 per tonne to $138 a tonne for the current quarter. The above price has been set by the panel with major Australian coal suppliers for the Jan-Mar quarter.

The committee negotiates the rates taking the prices settled by the Japanese steel mills and others as the benchmark.

At the beginning of the year, both the firms determine their annual coking coal requirement and the same is confirmed and received every quarter.

Both the firms may benefit from the lower prices as it would improve their profitability during the quarter, particularly following a lacklustre October—December quarter owing to subdued demand for steel in the country.

It generally requires around 1 tonne coking coal to produce 1 tonne of steel. The need for iron ore is a little higher at 1.6 tonne. SAIL, which produced 92.52 lakh tonne of saleable steel in the first nine months of the current fiscal compared to the corresponding period last fiscal, imports around 70 per cent of its coking coal requirement.

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