Register with us today

and in less than 60 seconds continue your access to:Latest news headlinesAnalytical topics and featuresCommodities videos, podcast & blogsSample market prices & dataSpecial reportsSubscriber notes & daily commodity email alerts

Already have an account?

Log in to register

Forgot Password

Please Note: Platts Market Center subscribers can only reset passwords via the Platts Market Center

Enter your Email ID below and we will send you a link to reset your password.


  • Email Address* Please enter email address.

If you are a premium subscriber, we are unable to send you a link to reset password for security reasons. Please contact the Client Services team.

If you are a Platts Market Center subscriber, to reset your password go to the Platts Market Center to reset your password.

In this list
Coal | Electric Power | Shipping

India lockdown: Thermal coal traders bemoan labor shortage amid coronavirus

Electricity | Coal | Electric Power | Oil | Crude Oil | Refined Products | Gasoline | Coronavirus

Market Movers Americas, Oct 19-23: US midstream watching election runup, COVID resurgence threatens gasoline demand

Shipping

Platts Dirty Tankerwire

Capital Markets | Commodities | Energy | Electric Power | Electric Power Risk | Natural Gas | Banking | Infrastructure | Structured Finance

Global Power Markets Conference, 35th Annual

Bunker Fuel | Oil | Refined Products | Fuel Oil | Gasoline | Shipping | Marine Fuels

Security incident occurs on oil tanker off UK: sources

India lockdown: Thermal coal traders bemoan labor shortage amid coronavirus

Highlights

Labor restrictions main concern

India traders mitigate losses amid lockdown

FOB Kalimantan 4,200 GAR price at 7-month low

Singapore — Indian thermal coal traders are concerned about the labor shortage, triggered by the country's 21-day lockdown to curb a coronavirus pandemic, despite the government's decision to keep ports operational to facilitate movement of essential cargoes, sources said Wednesday.

Not registered?

Receive daily email alerts, subscriber notes & personalize your experience.

Register Now

Operations at ports rely heavily on migrant laborers, but most of them returned home to their villages after the nationwide lockdown began March 25.

Despite the lockdown, the supply of thermal coal in India was declared as an essential service and officials are to maintain its critical dispatch during the country's lockdown period.

India-based traders, however, bemoaned the existing labor restrictions as one of the key factors impeding port operations.

"Ports are operating due to essential services but the guaranteed discharge rate may be lower due to manpower movement restrictions," said a north India-based trader.

"The key issue here is labor as most workers have left for their homes," another north India-based trader said.

Two sources based in west India held neutral views about the government's lockdown measure and expected clarity to emerge in the coming days.

"Everyone is trying to mitigate their losses now," said one of the sources.

"I had inquiries for half a million mt of thermal coal prior to the lockdown but now I've none," said an India-based trader.

Price pressure

India's lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic and lackluster Chinese seaborne demand are already hampering coal prices. The price of the Indonesian 4,200 kcal/kg GAR – or 3,800 kcal/kg NAR – coal dipped to a 7-month low of $31/mt FOB Kalimantan, according to S&P Global Platts data.

Meanwhile, the delivered price of the seaborne 4,200 kcal/kg GAR into India was at $36.90/mt Wednesday, down 13% since the beginning of the year, as per Platts data.

The lockdown also led to a 7% weekly rise in stockpiles at Indian power plants, with the daily consumption rate declining nearly 9%, according to latest data from India's Central Electricity Authority.

The stockpiles are now sufficient for 28 days of coal burn, up from 24 days on the week, the data showed.

Adding to the worries was a plunging rupee against the US dollar, as the sluggish Indian currency kept import volumes thin.

The rupee closed at 75.62 against the US dollar Thursday, down from about 72 per dollar a month back.

India's Ministry of Shipping could not be immediately reached for a comment.