India’s coal import has been witnessing a significant drop of about 43.2 percent to 11.13 million tonnes in July 2020 on record of the high stockpile of the dry fuel at plants, pitheads, and ports.
India had imported 19.61 million tonnes of coal in July 2019. According to a temporary accumulation carried out by Mjunction services limited was conducted on the beheading of vessels’ positions and data received from shipping companies.
Mjunction is a joint venture between Tata Steel and SAIL. It is a B2B e-commerce company that issues research reports on the coal and steel industry.
“Imports in July this year has reached at 11.13 million tonnes. Earlier, coal and coke imports in July 2019 were at 19.61 million tonnes,” it stated.
In April-July 2020, the total coal imports were recorded at 57.27 million tonnes, that is 35.76 percent lower than 89.15 million tonnes imported from April-July 2019.
Clarifying on the current drift in coal imports, the mjunction managing director and chief executive Vinaya Varma told, “Import demand continued to be limited amidst huge stockpile of coal at plants, pitheads, and ports. The market members look to have chosen a wait and watch strategy and are currently seeming for a direction. We do not demand to see any important variation in quantities in the short-term.”
In April-July 2020, non-coking coal imports were at 38.84 million tonnes compared to 60.97 million tonnes imported in a similar period last year.
“Coking coal imports held at 10.67 million tonnes during April-July, falling from 17.73 million tonnes imported throughout the same period last year,” mjunction services responded.
The government had beforehand mandated state-owned Coal India that accounts for over 80 percent of domestic coal output to restore at least 100 million tonnes of imports with domestically-produced coal in 2020-21.
CIL had assumed that coal creation in some of the primary coal mines is still influenced due to high stock and less offtake.
Pithead stock of CIL as on July 16 was 72.88 million tonnes as analyzed to 33.17 million tonnes at the same time a year ago, it had stated.
The Mahratna firm had told that the despatch of coal was unfavorably affected in the last week of March, resulting in rising coal stock at the pithead.
On March 31, coal stock was 74.629 million tonnes is compared to 54.155 million tonnes on March 31, 2019.
The government had beforehand asked power generating companies that include Tata Power, NTPC, and Reliance Power, to decrease the import of the dry fuel for mixing purposes and substitute it with domestic coal.
The power sector of the nation is a crucial coal user.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s directions on the coal import
The prime minister of India had also given directions to aim at thermal coal import substitution, mainly when huge coal-stock inventory is available in the nation this year 2020.
Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi had earlier addressed to state chief ministers asking them not to import coal and use domestic supply from CIL that has the fuel in excess.
India’s coal imports improved marginally by 3.2 percent to 242.97 million tonnes in 2019-20.