The country's coal imports registered an increase of 4.4 per cent to 161.43 million tonnes (MT) in the April-November period of the ongoing fiscal. This comes amid the Centre exuding hope that imports of the fossil fuel would be contained to 235 MT this financial year.
India had imported 154.56 MT of coal in April-November 2018, according to a report by mjunction services. "On a progressive basis (April-November '19) (provisional), total coal...imports were recorded at 161.43 MT, a 4.45 per cent increase against 154.56 MT imported for the same period last year (April-November '18)," it said.
mjunction -- a joint venture between Tata Steel and SAIL -- is a B2B e-commerce company which also publishes research reports on coal and steel verticals.
Coal imports in November declined by marginal 0.8 per cent to 17.80 MT, against 17.95 MT in the same month last fiscal.
"The weak demand from the thermal power sector and an increase in seaborne prices, especially for the South African material, led to a slight drop in volumes during the month. With domestic production set to rise in the fourth quarter (January-March), import demand is expected to be subdued in coming months," mjunction MD and CEO Vinaya Varma said.
Recently, a top official at the coal ministry had said the coal position in the country was very comfortable. The country produced 730.35 MT of coal in FY'19, while the imports were 235.24 MT. India's coal imports stood at 208.2 MT in 2017-18 and 190.95 MT in 2016-17.