The National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL), the electronic spot market for commodities, today commenced trading in imported coal with fresh lot of 3,000 tonnes of the dry fuel on its platform.

The exchange said it is eying the Rs 1 lakh crore coal trading market through its online platform.

“The exchange recently launched delivery-based imported coal contracts, having delivery on export location, Mangalore,” NSEL said in a statement.

This dominance of coal is driven by strong growth in key consuming sectors such as power, steel and cement. As a result, coal imports have been increasing rapidly, it added.

“During 2011-12, imports stood at 99 million tonnes of coal, which is 44 per cent higher than the previous fiscal.

This is expected to increase further during 2012-13 as the gap between demand and domestic production is estimated to be 148 million tonnes,” it said.

If the average price is Rs 7,000 per tonne, it works out to be around Rs 1 lakh crore market per annum, it added.

“The idea is to develop a seamless and risk-free marketplace which can be relied upon by large number of buyers and sellers,” NSEL Managing Director Anjani Sinha said.

NSEL’s coal contract is of non-coking coal of South African origin. The quality of coal is determined through various parameters such as moisture percentage, calorific value, ash content, volatile matter and sulphur content, he added.

The minimum trading lot is 500 tonnes and the price quotation is in Indian rupee per tonne. The first trade of 3,000 tonnes recorded on July 24, 2012, was at Rs 7,300 per tonnes, the statement said.

At present, 80,000 tonnes of coal is lying at the Mangalore port, which will be sold through NSEL platform over the next 1 month, it added.

NSEL, jointly promoted by Financial Technologies India Ltd and National Agricultural Co-operative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED), is a national-level institutionalised, electronic and transparent spot exchange.

(This article was published on August 3, 2012)
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