A workers unloads a sack of coal from a truck at a wholesale supplier’s in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

India’s Coal Import Rises 13% In April

India’s coal import increased 13.4 percent to 20.72 million tonnes in April from 18.27 million tonnes a year ago, according to a report.

Of the total imports during April 2019, non-coking coal or thermal coal shipments were at 15.08 million tonnes, according to provisional data by Mjunction services. Imports of coking coal, used in iron and steelmaking, were at 3.52 million tonnes in April, while metallurgical coke imports during the month stood at 0.22 million tonnes.

Mjunction, a joint venture between Tata Steel Ltd. and Steel Authority of India Ltd., is a business-to-business e-commerce company that also publishes research reports on coal and steel verticals.

Coal and coke imports during 2018-19 rose 9.66 percent to 235.35 million tonnes from 214.61 million tonnes imported in 2017-18, latest mjunction data showed.

“The flat trend in non-coking coal import in April was in line with expectations, as the power plants continued to have sufficient stock of coal,” Vinaya Varma, managing director and chief executie officer at Mjunction, said. “This scenario may continue in the current month.”

The central government had earlier urged state-run Coal India Ltd. to pledge self-sufficiency in production to eliminate import of thermal coal.

The government has set a target of 1 billion tonne of coal production by 2019-20 for the mining major, but is considering relaxing the timeline.