04 th July 2012

Coal inventory in 3 main Chinese ports reach record high levels

Global Times reported that coal inventories in Qinhuangdao, Tangshan and Huanghua, China's major coal ports, have reached record highs in recent days, sparking safety concerns for the Chinese energy market.

According to the latest figures, coal supplies among the three ports totaled 18.3 million tonnes on June 30 or 8.6illion tonnes, 8.4 illion tonnesand 1.3 million tonnes, respectively.

Qinhuangdao Port, located in north China's Hebei province, is the world's largest coal loading port, and it handles half of China's coal needs. On June 25, the coal inventory in storage at Qinhuangdao totaled 9.08 million tonnes, while the designed volume for pile is 10.18 million tonnes. The pile at Qinhuangdao was started in May. On June 18, coal inventories at this port hit 9.46 tonnes, the highest level since November 2008, according to official statistics.

At the port of Tangshan, which is also strategically located in Hebei in order to transport coal from northern to southern China, the coal inventory on June 25 totaled 8.1 million tonnes, just shy of the maximum volume of 8.7 million tonnes.

Mr Li Xin a senior official with the China Coal Transportation and Distribution Association said “China's coal stocks are estimated at about 300 million tonnes, equivalent to the entire country's coal consumption in one month.

Industry insiders say that the slowdown in domestic economic growth reduced demand for thermal coal in China, which was caused by overcapacity in coal's downstream industries, including the steel, cement, electricity and real estate industries. Moreover, China imported 86.55 million tonnes of coal in the first four months, up nearly 70 percent year on year.
(Steel Guru)
Indian iron ore mining mess - Mining ban in Karnataka may be lifted

Iron ore mining in India’s Karnataka state, banned for the past year on environmental concerns, may resume as early as this month, easing shortages

According to orders by the Supreme Court, Mr HR Srinivasa, the state’s mines director and a member of a committee appointed by the court, “Some iron ore mines where no illegality has been found will be the first where mining will be allowed.”

Mr Srinivasa said that “The court process is being followed and I expect production will start showing from the second week of August.” He’s also responsible for auctioning iron ore in the state and NMDC’s output. The current inventory and production from NMDC will be enough to meet requirements of steelmakers till the end of next month.”

The court-appointed committee has identified 5 million tons of new ore inventory in the state that it will auction to meet local needs, he said. Since October, 23 million tons of ore have been sold via online auctions, including about 3 million tons from NMDC.

Mining was halted in the state in July 2011 and extended to two other regions the following month. India’s Supreme Court allowed only state run NMDC Ltd the nation’s largest iron ore producer, to mine as much as 1 million tonnes a month and ordered all sales, including stockpiles, to be conducted through online auctions.

In April, the court ordered 45 mines to seek government approval to resume operations. Companies need an endorsement from the Ministry of Environment and Forests once their licenses have been checked, it said on April 20.
(Steel Guru)
Indian iron ore mining mess - Steel makers call for resuming mining in Bellary

Karnataka’s steel producers have called for resuming mining in the Bellary district, saying that there may be social unrest as lakhs of workers would be unemployed. They have asked the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council to initiate talks with the central government’s steel, mines and environment ministries and the state to redeem the situation.

In a letter to the NMCC chairman V Krishnamurthy, the Karnataka Iron and Steel Producers Association said major producers like JSW, Kirloskar Ferrous and Kalyani Steel have set up their projects with huge investments only on account of proximity and availability of iron ore. All these plants put together produce around 24% of the country’s annual crude steel production and are squarely dependent on iron ore supply from Karnataka.

It pointed out that the Supreme Court through its various orders has allowed 2.5 million tonne of iron ore to be made available to local steel but its orders have not fulfilled in letter and spirit.

The association said while the court asked NMDC to produce 1 MT per month from its Donimalai and Kumaraswamy mines and dispose of 1.5 MT monthly from the stockyards through auction, but since October 2011 the average dispatch from NMDC has been 0.60 MT per month.

Karnataka’s steel producers have now begun looking for procuring iron ore from Orissa and Chhattisgarh as the mineral’s quality from neighbouring Goa is inferior.

“Any interruption in operations without any visibility on supply of iron ore to the steel industry in the region would result in 80,000 direct and several lakhs of indirect unemployment. It shall pose the threat of creating a social unrest in the society at large,” KISMA said. It said that this will have ripple effects like high inflation.
(Steel Guru)
Commerce Ministry suggests withdrawal of MEP for Basmati 
THE Commerce Ministry is pushing for withdrawing the minimum export price (MEP) in order to boost Basmati exports. 
The recommendation, which has been sent to, and would be taken up shortly by the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM), came in the wake of the impressive 32 per cent growth in exports. 
An EGoM, headed by Mr Pranab Mukherjee, former Finance Minister, had in February lowered the MEP for Basmati by $ 200-$ 700 per tonne. 
Exporters have been demanding lower MEP for Basmati as Pakistan, India’s only competitor, does not follow any price regime. Further, global market prices for the Indian aromatic variety are at present in excess of $ 1,000 per tonne. 
"Abolition of MEP would help us increase exports in the current fiscal," said Mr Mohinder Pal Jindal, President of the All-India Rice Exporters’ Association (AIREA). He added that India exported only ‘premium’ Basmati and the absence of an MEP regime would make it easier for exporters to gain competitiveness in the global market.
(Exim India)
Adani Ports signs pact to develop bulk terminal at Kandla Port

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone, India's largest private multi port operator and part of the Adani Group, a global integrated infrastructure player, today said its subsidiary Adani Kandla Bulk Terminal Pvt Ltd has signed a concession agreement with the Kandla Port Trust, to set up a dry bulk terminal at the Kandla Port on build, operate and transfer basis, thus emerging as the only private sector port operator with presence across six ports in India.

Mr Rajeeva Sinha wholetime director at APSEZ said that "This is a testimony of the Government of India's trust and confidence in Adani and its execution and operating skills to set up world class port infrastructure. This modern and mechanized cargo bulk terminal will act as a game changer for exim trade of the north-west hinterland and contribute to Adani's goal of reaching 200 million tonnes of cargo handling by 2020."

Mr Sinha added that "This facility will reduce cargo handling cost at Kandla Port due to increased productivity and proximity to cargo generating centers."

The project, which will be the one of largest bulk terminal on the west coast of India, will have a capacity of over 20 million tonnes a year and will be built at the cost of about INR 1,200 crores approx and be commissioned within a period of 24 months. The dry bulk terminal will be located off Tekra near Tuna outside Kandla Creek at the Kandla Port, India's number one port by volumes. The terminal, will handle cargo like coal, fertilizer, salt, minerals and other agri products.

With this, APSEZ's bulk cargo capacity gets enhanced and it can now tap the ever increasing cargo of the hinterland as well as at Kandla. The existing customer base, including the large trader community at Kandla as well as customers at the nearby ports, can now enjoy a hassle free, mechanised handling services of Adani at the new bulk terminal.

The direct berthing at Tuna would address the present issues at Kandla relating to anchorage/barge operations which lead to increased cost per tonne, double handling, loss of cargo and lower productivity. The automated and mechanised processes at the new terminal at Tuna would ensure transparency.

APSEZ spearheads Adani's logistics business which includes setting up world class port infrastructure, special economic zones and multi-modal logistics such as railways. It is now the only private port infrastructure company to operate and construct ports and terminals across six locations in India Mundra, Dahej, Hazira and Kandla in Gujarat, Mormugao in Goa and Visakhapatnam.
(Steel Guru)

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