India's coal imports registered a decline of 14.1 per cent to 17.01 million tonnes (MT) in February in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, as per industry data.
The country's coal imports in February last year stood at 19.82 MT, according to a provisional compilation by mjunction services, based on monitoring of vessels' positions and data received from shipping companies.
mjunction -- a joint venture between Tata Steel, is a B2B e-commerce company which also publishes research reports on coal and steel verticals.
"In line with expectations, coal import volumes staged a decline during the month of February due to increased domestic availability, volatility in non-coking coal prices as well as uncertainty arising from...coronavirus epidemic," mjunction MD and CEO Vinaya Varma said.
"Going forward, prices may see a downward bias, while demand for import may remain subdued, for much the same reason," Varma added.
Of the total imports in February 2020, non-coking coal was at 12.25 MT, against 12.38 MT imported in January 2020. Coking coal imports were at 3.15 MT in February 2020, down from 3.95 MT imported a month ago.
However, the country's coal imports registered an increase of 3.7 per cent to 221.56 million tonnes in April-February period of the ongoing fiscal.
India had imported 213.63 MT of coal in the year-ago period, according to the report by mjunction services.
During April-February 2019-20, non-coking coal imports stood at 152.9 MT, slightly higher than 150.11 MT imported during the same period last year.
Coking coal imports were at 44.3 MT during April-February 2019-20, as against 44.19 MT imported during the same period a year ago.