Tata Steel, the largest Indian importer of Russian coal this year, will stop buying the commodity in a sign that Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has made it more perilous to do so. Tata Steel pointed to “uncertainties” over the supply of Russian coal, of which India had stepped up purchases before the war as rival shipments of Australian coal were becoming too expensive, according to traders.
The move by Tata, which uses coal for steelmaking, is significant because it underscores the challenge of mitigating shortages that have already disrupted India’s power supply. India relies on coal for 70 per cent of its electricity generation and coal stockpiles at power producers have fallen to almost half their average levels for this time of year.
Just over 20 coal-fired power plants have been forced into maintenance, data from India’s Central Electricity Authority show, as a shortage is compounded by an unseasonal heatwave. Tata Steel imported 617,000 tonnes of Russian coal in the first three months of the year, according to data, taking delivery of 246,000 tonnes last month. These orders were made before the invasion of