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India’s South Africa Coal Imports Slump as China Buys More

Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) -- India’s imports of coal from South Africa fell in the first 11 months of 2011, while China almost doubled purchases, according to Mjunction Services Ltd.

India bought 14.39 million metric tons of the fuel from South Africa, down 24 percent from 18.96 million in the same period a year earlier, India Coal Market Watch, a unit of Mjunction, said in an e-mail dated yesterday. Purchases in November fell 21 percent from the previous year to 1.29 million tons.

South Africa’s shipments to China, the world’s biggest coal consumer, rose 88 percent to 12.26 million tons in the first 11 months of 2011, India Coal said in the note. November sales increased more than threefold to 2.84 million.

India’s imports accounted for 25 percent of the 57.4 million tons from South Africa through November last year, according to Bloomberg calculations based on data from Mjunction and the Richards Bay Coal Terminal website. China accounted for 21 percent of the shipments.

Prices at Richards Bay fell to $105.74 a ton as of Dec. 30 from $105.95 a ton a week earlier, according to data from Petersfield, U.K.-based researcher IHS McCloskey.

Kolkata, India-based Mjunction is a joint venture between Tata Steel Ltd. and Steel Authority of India Ltd.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dinakar Sethuraman in New Delhi at dinakar@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski at akwiatkowsk2@bloomberg.net

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