India’s thermal coal purchases are expected to surge to a record this year and remain robust through the next decade as domestic supply lags demand, according to the country’s largest importer.
India’s thermal coal imports could rise by about 10 percent to 174-177 million tonnes in 2019, an executive from Adani Power said on February 19.
India’s 2018 thermal coal imports rose at the fastest pace in four years, according to two industry sources, despite moves by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to cut imports in a bid to reduce its trade deficit.
India’s coal imports rose 7.9 percent year-on-year to 134.46 million tonnes in the first seven months of the ongoing financial year, according to mjunction services.
Care Ratings on Thursday said that it expects higher coal imports during the year on the back of improved capacity utilisation in various sectors, including power.
Coal imports in the first two months of the ongoing fiscal registered a marginal decline of 2.6 per cent at 36.49 million tonnes (MT). The drop in coal imports comes at a time when some regions, including the national capital, are facing power shortage due to fast depleting coal stockpiles at power plants.
Coal imports by power utilities fell by 22.23% to 3.73 million tonnes in April mainly due to decline in shipments by imported coal based power projects in the country.
State-run thermal power plants in India’s coastal States have again begun buying overseas coal due to domestic coal shortages, government and utility officials said, in a setback for the country’s long-term plans to eliminate imports.
India’s thermal coal imports rose by more than 15 percent in the first three months of 2018, with Indonesia accounting for about three-fifths of total supplies, according to vessel arrival data from Dubai-based coal trader American Fuels & Natural Resources.
China’s coal imports rose in March from a year ago as utilities boosted their purchases to replenish inventories amid colder-than-usual winter weather that drew down fuel stockpiles.