Coronavirus Outbreak: Coal Import Declines 14 Percent To 17 Million Tonnes In February
A workers unloads a sack of coal from a truck at a wholesale supplier’s in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Coronavirus Outbreak: Coal Import Declines 14 Percent To 17 Million Tonnes In February

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India's coal imports registered a decline of 14.1 percent to 17.01 million tonnes in February in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, as per industry data.

The country's coal imports in February last year stood at 19.82 million tonnes, according to a provisional compilation by mjunction services, based on monitoring of vessels' positions and data received from shipping companies.

mjunction -- a joint venture between Tata Steel and SAIL -- is a B2B e-commerce company which also publishes research reports on coal and steel verticals.

"In line with expectations, coal import volumes staged a decline during the month of February due to increased domestic availability, volatility in non-coking coal prices as well as uncertainty arising from...coronavirus epidemic," mjunction MD and CEO Vinaya Varma said.

"Going forward, prices may see a downward bias, while demand for import may remain subdued, for much the same reason," he added.

Of the total imports in February 2020, non-coking coal was at 12.25 million tonnes, against 12.38 million tonnes imported in January 2020. Coking coal imports were at 3.15 million tonnes in February 2020, down from 3.95 million tonnes imported a month ago.

However, the country's coal imports registered an increase of 3.7 percent to 221.56 million tonnes in April-February period of the ongoing fiscal.

India had imported 213.63 million tonnes of coal in the year-ago period, according to the report by mjunction services.

Also read: Coal India Offtake Rises In February But Likely To Miss FY20 Target

During April-February 2019-20, non-coking coal imports stood at 152.9 million tonnes, slightly higher than 150.11 million tonnes imported during the same period last year.

Coking coal imports were at 44.3 million tonnes during April-February 2019-20, as against 44.19 million tonnes imported during the same period a year ago.

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