India's coal imports plunged 43.2% year on year to 11.13 million tonnes in July, showed preliminary statistics from mjunction platform, as coal stocks stood high at coal mines, power plants and ports.
Market participants were in thick wait-and-see sentiment and looking for future directions; trade volumes may not change largely in the near term, said mjunction 's chief executive Vinaya Varma.
The mjunction is an on-line purchase and sales platform co-operated by SAIL and Tata Steel. The mjunction data is based on vessel monitoring data of shipping firms.
Over April-July, India imported 57.27 million tonnes of coal, a yearly decline of 35.76%.
Of that, non-coking coal imports fell 36.3% year on year to 38.84 million tonnes, while coking coal imports posted a slightly deeper drop of 39.8% to 10.67 million tonnes.
Coal production at some large mines was affected by increased stocks and dropping sales, Coal India said last month.
As of July 16, pithead stocks were at 72.88 million tonnes, way above the year-ago 33.17 million tonnes.
To lower pithead inventory, the Indian government earlier this year required power firms including NTPC, Tata Power and Reliance Power to reduce use of import coal for blending, which will be replaced by domestic coal.
State-run Coal India has revised its production target to 650-660 million tonne for the current fiscal (April 2020-March 2021) from previous 710 million tonnes in the wake of the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a top company official said.
(Writing by Jessie Jia Editing by Harry Huo)
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