The Indian Railways carried 437.97 million tonnes coal during April 2016-January 2017, down 4.4% from a year ago, showed data released by the Directorate of Statistics and Economics on February 15.
Among this, domestic coal stood at 374.19 million tonnes while imported material at 63.78 million tonnes.
Domestic coal to thermal power plants fell 5.27% from the year before to 274.66 million tonnes over April-January, while imported volumes stood at 13.28 million tonnes, falling 31.2% year on year, the data showed.
Coal accounts for around 50% of the overall freight traffic by rail. The fall in coal volumes carried by the Indian Railways was due lower demand for power generation and high stocks at the plants, market sources said. Also, due to rationalization of coal linkages, power generation companies are now getting material from mines nearer to their plants, they said.
Also, coal imports are on a downtrend due to higher domestic output. The power sector imported about 54.46 million tonnes of thermal coal during April 2016-January 2017, down 20.5% year on year, according to latest data from India's Central Electricity Authority.
Meanwhile, the data from the Directorate of Statistics and Economics showed that domestic coal delivered to steel mills rose by 1.4% year on year to 15.26 million tonnes in the ten-month period. However, imported coal volumes fell 16.2% to 24.55 million tonnes in the period.
Domestic coal transported to other consumers climbed 11.06% year on year to 83.25 million tonnes while imported coal volumes jumped by 15.11% to 33.22 million tonnes.
(Writing by Katherine Wu Editing by Harry Huo)
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