India’s coal imports up 40% in Nov as restocking demand picks up

India’s coal imports up 40% in Nov as restocking demand picks up

The surge in imports is due to 4.18 MT increase in the imports of non-coking coal.

The Dollar Business Bureau

The imports of coal into India has increased by 40% to 19.18 million tonnes in the month of November, as the demand for winter restocking has picked up and due to low position of coal stock in power plants. 

“Coal import (all type of coals) in November 2017 stood at 19.18 million tonnes (provisional), against 13.70 million tonnes in November 2016 and 19.77 million tonnes in October 2017,” according to the recent data released by mjunction services. 

mjunction services ltd, a pioneer in e-auction services, is an online sales and procurement platform promoted jointly by Tata Steel and SAIL. 

The surge in imports is primarily due to the 4.18 million tonnes increase in the imports of non-coking coal during the given month, the data said. 

In addition, coking coal imports have also recorded a healthy growth in the last month, on year-on-year basis, it added. 

Commenting on the data, Vinaya Varma, CEO, mjunction said, “The demand for winter restocking and the low coal stock position at power plants led to the high volumes in non-coking coal import. Also, the uptrend in coking coal prices coupled with supply concerns saw the buyers taking fresh positions in that market.”

In November, out of the 19.18 million tonnes of coal imported, 13.15 million tonnes was non-coking coal, and 3.9 million tonnes was coking coal, among others. 

In April, the first month of 2017-18 fiscal, coal imports into India were marginally dropped to 19.08 million tonnes compared to 19.63 million tonnes in the same month a year ago. In the month of May 2017, the imports were further came down to 18.38 million tonnes as against the 19.38 million tonnes in the same month of the last fiscal. 

The imports of coal were again dropped in the month of June to 18.22 million tonnes from 21.50 million tonnes in same month a year ago. In July, the coal imports stood at 14.64 million tonnes, dropped from 19.15 million tonnes. 

The coal imports in August were fell to 18.80 million tonnes as against 19.75 million tonnes in same month last year. 

After witnessing a year-on-year decline for five months, the coal imports rose in September by 9.5% to 18.33 million tonnes, due to fuel shortages in some power plants. 

However, the imports were stagnant in the month of October at 16.65 million tonnes, due to cautious purchasing of the fossil fuel on account of high prices in the international market. 

During the fiscal of 2016-17, coal imports registered a drop of 6.37% at 191.95 million tonnes due to higher output by the largest coal producer Coal India Ltd (CIL), indicating that the country is moving to a surplus coal regime. 

The Dollar Business Bureau - Dec 11, 2017 12:00 IST