India's coal imports in January fell 21% month-on-month as state-owned Coal India Ltd ramped up supply from new and existing mines, online trader mjunction said, a trend that is likely to continue this month.
Imports into the world's third-largest coal buyer is estimated to have risen 3 percent to 15.79 million t in January from a year earlier. Shipments were, however, much lower than the revised figure of 20 million t for December, mjunction said.
January imports were also affected by Christmas and New Year holidays, said Viresh Oberoi, chief executive and managing director of mjunction."We anticipate that imports in February will not deviate much from the January levels largely on account of better availability of domestic coal even as prices were soft in January for steam coal of almost all origin, which Indian companies generally import," Oberoi said in an email.
Though below target, Coal India's April-January output rose 6% to 389 million tonnes as it opened new mines and got environmental clearances to raise output from operating mines.
India's January imports included 12.76 million t of power-generating thermal coal and 2.40 million steelmaking coking coal, according to port data from mjunction, a joint venture of Tata Steel and the Steel Authority of India Ltd.
The government does not regularly release coal import figures.
Edited from source by Joe Green
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