Coal imports fall by 22% to 14.31 MT in Jan 2017

Coal imports fall by 22% to 14.31 MT in Jan 2017

Coal imports in January 2017 were 14.31 MT compared to 18.28 MT in January 2016.

The Dollar Business Bureau

Coal imports have declined by 21.7% to 14.31 million tonnes in January as the power utility companies did not lift enough fuel due to the surplus stock available with them.

Import of all types of coals in January this year was 14.31 million tonnes (provisional) compared to 18.28 million tonnes in the same month in 2016- an ecommerce platform, mjunction services limited jointly created by Tata Steel and SAIL told PTI.

“In power sector, the state utilities are replete with stock and are aiming to curb imports altogether (except for coast-based plants) by March 2017. This explains the substantial drop....In steam coal imports in January 2017 vis-a-vis the same month last year,” said Vinaya Varma, Chief Executive Officer, mjunction.

There was a marginal decline in the non-coking coal imports in January this year, when compared to December 2016, as non-power sector buyers stopped restocking of the material after the prices of steam coal reversed its falling trend midway in January, he said.

“In fact, steam coal spot prices increased by around 8-9% in South Africa, and also surged slightly in Indonesia during January,” he added.

In September 2016, the Government had stated that it is planning to end the dependency on imports of coal, in the coming 3-4 months to meet consumption of the additional coal produced by Coal India Ltd.

Earlier, Coal Minister Piyush Goyal had said, “To tackle this problem of surplus, my ministry has drawn up an entire programme to see how we can completely eliminate import of coal by any state government or state discom in the next 3-4 months.”

Coal India Ltd accounts for more than 80% of coal production in India.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Feb 20, 2017 12:00 IST