Resource Digest - - RESOURCE DIGEST -

Coal im­ports fell 13.7 per cent to 15.59 mil­lion tonnes (MT) in Oc­to­ber due to higher prices of the fos­sil fuel in the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket. The coun­try had im­ported 18.08 MT of coal in Oc­to­ber last year, mjunc­tion ser­vices, an on­line pro­cure­ment and sales plat­form floated jointly by SAIL and Tata Steel said.

It fur­ther said that to­tal im­ports of 15.59 MT in Oc­to­ber also in­clude 10.34 MT of non-cok­ing fuel and 3.54 MT of cok­ing coal.

“Coal im­ports (all type of coals) in Oc­to­ber 2016 stood at 15.59 mil­lion tonnes MT (pro­vi­sional) against 18.09 MT in Oc­to­ber 2015 and 15.55 MT in Septem­ber 2016,” it said.

Coal im­ports in Oc­to­ber re­mained al­most flat com­pared to Septem­ber as In­dian buy­ers con­tin­ued to de­lay their pur­chases, ex­pect­ing prices in in­ter­na­tional mar­kets to soften, mjunc­tion CEO Vi­naya Varma said.

“Coal prices had started firm­ing up from June this year and there was ex­pec­ta­tion that prices will soften grad­u­ally, but that did not hap­pen en­cour­ag­ing In­dian buy­ers to look at do­mes­tic sources,” Varma said.

In fact, the price of South African stan­dard steam coal with 6000 Kcal/kg NAR calorific value has risen by nearly 30 per cent be­tween July 1, 2016 and Septem­ber 30, 2016 from USD 56.50 per tonne to USD 73.25 per tonne (FOB), while cok­ing coal prices have jumped by nearly 132 per cent to USD 215 per tonne from USD 92.50 per tonne (FOB) dur­ing the same pe­riod, the mjunc­tion ser­vices said.

Ex­press­ing con­cern over im­port of coal de­spite be­ing sur­plus in the dry fuel, Coal and Power Min­is­ter Piyush Goyal had ear­lier said that Coal In­dia has set a tar­get to re­place about 15 MT of im­ported coal with in­dige­nous fuel in the next six months.

Helped by a record coal pro­duc­tion by the world’s largest coal miner Coal In­dia re­duced its im­port bill of the dry fuel by more than Rs 28,000 crore in the last fis­cal.

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