Coal imports rose by 9.5 per cent to 18.33 million tonnes (MT) in September, after having registered year-on-year decline for five months in a row, as some power plants faced fuel shortages.
“Coal imports (all types) in September 2017 stood at 18.33 MT (provisional), against 16.73 MT in September 2016,” according to latest data by m-junction services. mjunction services is an online procurement and sales platform floated jointly by state-run SAIL and steel behemoth Tata Steel.
There was a revival of coal demand post monsoon rains, mjunction CEO Vinaya Varma said, adding that at present the buyers are looking for restocking for the approaching winter months.
Besides, he said, the healthy growth in coal-fired generation of late has raised coal demand in the country, resulting in higher off-take from domestic sources as well as imports of the material.
“The higher volume of coal and coke imports in September (9.6 per cent year-on-year) is mainly due to a 1.1 MT increase in non-coking coal imports during the month under review. There was also an increase in non-coking coal imports in September 2017 on a month-on-month basis,” according to mjunction.
Of the 18.3 MT of coal imported in September, 12 MT was non-coking coal, followed by coking coal at 4.1 MT and 1.4 MT pet coke among others. In April, the first month of the ongoing fiscal, India’s coal imports declined marginally to 19.08 MT as against 19.63 MT in the same month of 2016-17.
In May, they came down to 18.38 MT as against 19.38 MT a year ago. In June the imports again dropped to 18.22 MT, against 21.50 MT a year-ago. In July, they were at 14.64 MT, down from 19.15 MT.
In August, the import of coal were down to 18.80 MT as against 19.75 MT same month of 2016-17. Import of coal saw a decline of 6.37 per cent to 191.95 MT in 2016-17 on higher production by Coal India Ltd that saw the country move to a regime of surplus coal.
CIL accounts for over 80 per cent of the domestic coal production.