India’s coal import falls 6.37% due to higher production by Coal India

The overall domestic production of coal was 659.27 million tonnes against the demand of 884.87 million tonnes.

The Dollar Business Bureau

India’s coal import declined by 6.37% to 191.95 million tonnes in the last fiscal of 2016-17 on account of higher production by Coal India Ltd (CIL) which indicates that the country has moved to a regime of coal surplus.

In the fiscal of 2015-16, imports of coal stood at 203.95 million tonnes, according to official data.

“On enhanced production by CIL, the country has moved from a regime of coal scarcity to a coal surplus situation,” a media statement by CIL said. The overall domestic production of coal was 659.27 million tonnes against a demand of 884.87 million tonnes, it reads.

The Government has announced that it is planning to boost the annual production capacity of CIL to 1 billion tonnes by 2019 in order to meet the increasing demand of fuel.

So far, the Government has allocated 30 mines to private sector firms through auction for specified end purposes, under the Coal Mines (Special Provisional) Act, 2015.

In the current fiscal, imports of thermal coal also shows a declining trend.

Steam and thermal coal imports have declined 17.37% at the 12 major ports to 29.82 million tonnes during the April-July period of 2017-18, as per the Indian Ports Association (IPA).

Government controlled ports handled around 36 million tonnes of steam and thermal coal during the similar period of the last fiscal.

Thermal coal is the backbone in the energy programme of India as 70% of power generation is reliant on dry fuel.

Handling of coking coal has declined by 4.45% to 16.51 million tonnes, according to the recent data by the IPA. Coking coal is mainly used in steel-making.

These major ports had handled around 17.27 million tonnes of coking coal during the period April-July 2016-17.

Collectively, they handled around 46.33 million tonnes of coal in April-July period this fiscal compared to 53.36 million tonnes in the same period a year ago.

India is the third largest coal producing country after China and the US. The country has about 299 billion tonnes of coal resources and proven reserves of 123 billion tonnes, which may last for more than 100 years.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Aug 21, 2017 12:00 IST