India's coal import rose 11.9% to 78.7 million tonnes in the first four months of the current fiscal.
The country had imported 70.3 million tonnes coal in April-July period of the last fiscal, said mjunction services, a joint venture between Tata Steel and SAIL.
"Overall, coal and coke imports during the first 4 months (April-July) of 2018-19 stood at 78.79 million tonnes, about 12% higher than 70.33 million tonnes recorded for the same period last year," it said.
The country's coal import in July increased by 42% to 20.79 million tonnes (provisional), over 14.64 million tonnes (revised) in the same month previous year.
The increase in coal and coke imports in July is mainly due to a 12.9% growth month on month in non-coking coal shipments, it said.
There was also a marginal growth in coking coal imports in July on a monthly basis, it added.
"Steam coal imports went up in July as the power plants continued to face shortage despite the best efforts by domestic miners to mitigate the gap. Also, there was a slight easing of prices in the international markets and expectation of further corrections, going forward, prompted the buyers to take fresh positions." mjunction CEO Vinaya Varma said.
The government earlier said that during FY2017-18 coal imports increased to 208.27 million tonnes due to increase in demand by consuming sectors.
The country's coal import fell from 217.7 million tonnes in FY2014-15 to 190.9 million tonnes in FY2016-17.
(Writing by Becky Du Editing by Tammy Yang)
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