Coal India hikes price by 11%, power and cement take a hit

ANZ Bank, Goldman Sachs, UBS, Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and five other global analysts have forecasted that Asian coal prices will fall by 20% in 2009. However, against the analyst price fall warnings, coal prices in India have increased which is likely to put more pressure on power and cement sectors.  

"Depending on the contribution to the cost of production, the affect of the hike in coal prices will also affect the cost involved accordingly," said Rakesh Dubey from mJunction which is one of the largest online dealers in India. He said that the power industry is going to take a hit of 15% and cement will see around 30% hike in production cost.
 
Coal India Ltd increased coal prices by 11% in September/October, thanks to sharp increase of thermal power projects in India. Asia is the largest consumer of coal and accounts for 4,800 million tonnes (MT) out of world consumption of 7,000MT.
 
Power industry consumes around 300MT of coal every year and accounts for 75% of total coal consumption that produces around 475 billion KWh of electricity. The indicative price increase is around 15% and largely depends on power plant distances from coal mines. "The power utilities will calculate the input cost in production and accordingly they will fix the tariff," added Mr Dubey.
 
The cement industry with capacity of 198.3MT consumes 3% of coal as raw material. Around 12MT of coal is used in this industry and accounts for 30% of the cost of cement production.
 
The coal price rise is substantial as cement prices were still close to Rs 3,670 per tonne during September 2009. Since cement is facing the market resistance, it has to bear the additional cost on coal.
 
The steel industry with an annual capacity of 60MT also uses 3% of total coal. Since coal price hike is not substantial in total cost of steel it will not affect the pricing of steel. Though coal is vital to the power sector, the major casualty of the recent hike in coal prices would be the cement sector.
 
The power utilities would be in a position to pass on the difference in prices to the customers; this is not possible for the cement industry. Given the current low demand in the cement market, the cement units are unlikely to pass the hike in coal prices to their customers.
-Dhruv Rathi with Amritha Pillay [email protected]

 

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TV18 blames the Union Budget for poor second-quarter performance!
Elections are the most coveted event for TV news channels and Union Budgets are what business TV channels look forward to. Their viewership shoots up on those occasions—it’s no wonder that TV channels advertise heavily the coverage of Union Budget as an event. That is when they hope to rake in the moolah. This is widely known to the investor community. Therefore it comes as a shock that CNBC blames the just-released poor performance of its September quarter on the Union Budget of July. Raghav Bahl, managing director, Network 18, has said just this in an interview to his own channel.
 
“Unfortunately, the last quarter was a quarter in which we had a budget and we also had a couple of competitive launches in that quarter. So, our cost level has also gone up,” said Bahl to CNBC. In September 2009 quarter all business news channels broadcasted both these events with much fanfare. If revenues don’t come from such mega events why does CNBC advertise them so much?
 
In the March quarter when TV18’s news operations reported a 36% decline in revenues of its news broadcasting business, IDFC-SSKI had blamed the poor performance on the fact that time there was no Union Budget which is normally held in February and boosts the March quarter results.
 
TV18’s news operations reported a loss of Rs33.10 crore for the September quarter which takes the loss in the first half to Rs61.38 crore. Loss for the year ended March 2009 was Rs166.36 crore. The news operation was the only bright spot in an array of lossmaking businesses of the TV18 group— Newswire, Web business and Infomedia—until 2008.
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Real No. 1?
Domestic consumer products companies are relentlessly catching up with bigger foreign rivals. Now, in a major victory, Godrej No.1 has overtaken HUL’s Lifebuoy and Lux in the north Indian market (annual sale of Rs5000, crore), according to AC Nielsen, a market research firm. The company is working towards doubling its market share of Godrej No 1 (market share of 4% in terms of volume and 8% in...
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