Coal imports came in flat at 16.65 million tonnes in October, underpinned by cautious buying of the fossil fuel by consumers due to high prices in the overseas market.
"Coal import (all types of coals) in October 2017 stood at 16.65 million tonnes (provisional) against 16.68 million tonnes in October 2016 and 15.68 million tonnes (revised) in September 2017. The maximum in October was of non-coking variety at 11.2 million tonnes." said mjunction, an online procurement and sales entity jointly floated by state-owned SAIL and Tata Steel.
"While there was a revival in demand for imported material, especially from the thermal power plants facing low coal stock situation, the prevailing high price in the seaborne coal market was seen as a dampener. As a result, there was cautious buying ahead of the winter months." said mjunction CEO Vinaya Varma.
However, going forward, the volumes may go up if there is correction in the prices of coal, Varma added.
There was a marginal growth in non-coking coal import during October on a yearly (and also monthly) basis, according to the company. This, however, was accompanied by a slight drop in PCI and pet coke, which resulted in an overall flat growth in coal and coke imports during the month under review.
Imports of coal declined 6.37% to 191.95 million tonnes in 2016-17, chiefly because of higher production by Coal India Ltd (CIL).
CIL accounts for over 80% of the domestic coal production.
(Writing by Becky Du Editing by Harry Huo)
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