India's power generators saw their thermal coal imports fall in August after a consecutive rise for six months, dented by factors including abated heatwave, slowed economic growth as well as tightened global vessel transport capacity.
Indian's power producers imported 5.69 million tonnes of thermal coal in August, falling 21.24% from July but still 195.81% higher than the year-ago level, data from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) showed.
Driven by scorching weather in recent months, thermal coal imports by Indian power companies had increased month by month since February.
At the same time, Indian power companies increased the proportion of imported coal to mix with domestic coal for power generation to save cost due to high prices of imported coal. The data showed coal imports for the blend purpose in August accounted for more than 80% for the month, while the proportion was only 22.6% in the same period last year.
Affected by the monsoon season, India's power demand slowed down in August, driving coal import demand back down. With the rainy season coming to an end, the temperature is rising again and there is still a possibility of increasing imports in the short term.
Among all imported all by power companies last month, 1.06 million tonnes were directly burned, down 28.81% year on year and 42.93% month on month; 4.63 million tonnes were blended with domestic coal, down 13.73% month on month but much higher than the same period last year, 434,600 tonnes.
In the same month, among power companies blending imported coal with the domestic, 13 state-owned power enterprises imported 3.81 million tonnes and 17 private enterprises imported 816,700 tonnes; among those directing burning imported coal for power generation, one state-owned enterprise imported 70,700 tonnes and nine private power enterprises imported 988,300 tonnes.
In August, state-owned NTPC imported the most thermal coal, 1.99 million tonnes, followed by India's state-owned MSPGCL, with imports of 447,500 tonnes.
In the first five months of this fiscal (April-August), Indian power companies imported 29.27 million tonnes of thermal coal, a 92.05% jump from 15.24 million tonnes in the same period last year.
(Writing by Alex Guo Editing by Harry Huo)
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