Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Hindustan Zinc Ltd., India’s largest producer of zinc and lead, is seeking to import 200,000 metric tons of steam coal between January and February, according to a notice in the Economic Times newspaper today.
The company, part of Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal’s metals and mining venture Vedanta Resources Plc, wants to buy coal from South Africa, Colombia or Indonesia, the tender said.
The spot price of South African steam coal at Richards Bay port rose 3.7 percent to a two-year high of $107.11 a ton for the week ended Dec. 3, according to data from IHS McCloskey. The price of the coal has risen 22 percent since early September, according to the data.
Steam coal prices at Australia’s Newcastle port, a benchmark for Asia, have gained 17 percent to $109.80 a ton since early September, according to IHS McCloskey.
The spot price of Colombian steam coal at Puerto Bolivar rose 21 percent to $96 a ton since early September, the McCloskey data show.
India’s thermal coal imports rose by about 16 percent to 44 million tons in the year ended March 2010, from 38 million tons a year earlier, according to data from the nation’s coal ministry.
India needs 440 million tons of thermal coal in the year ending March 2011, while domestic availability is about 388 million, resulting in a shortfall of 52 million tons, newsletter India Coal Market Watch said Dec. 1, citing Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal.