Thermal coal imports declined by 17.69% to 51.10 million tonnes at the country's top 12 major ports during April-October this fiscal, latest Indian Ports Association report has said.
The Centre-owned ports had handled 62.08 MT of the thermal coal in the same period previous year.
The Indian Ports Association (IPA), which maintains cargo data handled by these 12 ports, in its recent report said "percentage variation from previous year" in thermal coal handling was at 17.69%.
As far as coking and other coal is concerned, its handling recorded a rise of 6.88% at 33.43 MT during the seven months period.
These ports had handled 31.28 MT of coking coal in the corresponding period last fiscal.
Thermal coal is the mainstay of India's energy programme as 70% of power generation is dependent on the dry fuel, while coking coal is used mainly for steel-making.
Earlier, mjunction services -- a B2B e-commerce joint venture between Tata Steel and SAIL -- has reported 9.3% rise in India's coal imports to 126.91 million tonnes (MT) in the first six months of current fiscal.
The provisional compilation by mjunction is based on monitoring of vessels' positions and data received from shipping companies.
The country had imported 116.04 MT of coal in April-September period of 2018-19, according to mjunction - which publishes research reports on coal and steel verticals.
"On a progressive basis (April-September 2019) (provisional), total coal and coke imports were recorded at 126.91 MT, which is 9.36% higher than 116.04 MT imported for the same period (April-September 2018) last year," it had said.
India is the third-largest producer of coal after China and the US and has 299 billion tonnes of resources and 123 billion tonnes of proven reserves, which may last for over 100 years.
India has 12 major ports Kandla, Mumbai, JNPT, Marmugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Kamarajar (Ennore), V O Chidambarnar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia) which handle approximately 61% of the country's total cargo traffic.