India's thermal coal imports plunged 47.5% in June, joining a global weakness in coal demand as the coronavirus triggered massive lockdown measures and dampened industrial and manufacturing activity.
The country imported 7.31 million tonnes of the power-generating fuel last month, showed data from Iman Resources, with 56.9% or 4.16 million tonnes from Indonesia, slumping 45.3% from the year prior.
Shipments from South Africa dropped by 37.5% year on year to 2.61 million tonnes, while intakes from Colombia and Australia came in at 167,400 tonnes and 75,600 tonnes, respectively.
In the first half of 2020, India imported a total 74.55 million tonnes of thermal coal, presenting a decline of 21.32% compared with a year ago.
The country's economy took a heavy hit from virus lockdowns over April-June, and started recovering slowly from early June. A slight regained vitality in economy and declines in coal imports both contributed to a visible drop in coal inventory at power plants.
Coal stockpiles in India dropped by more than 10 million tonnes last month. As of end-June, Indian ports saw coal stocks fall to 19.76 million tonnes from 23.82 million tonnes in the end of May.
This could indicate the increased coal sales to domestic end users. In June, coal sales at Indian ports were 11.37 million tonnes, way higher than 8.61 million tonnes a month earlier.
Its petroleum coke imports slumped 41% from a year ago and 62% from May to 599,000 tonnes in June, impacted by sluggish cement industry.
(Writing by Tammy Yang Editing by Jessie Jia)
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