Coal imports in the first two months of the ongoing fiscal registered a marginal decline of 2.6 per cent at 36.49 million tonnes (MT).
The drop in coal imports comes at a time when some regions, including the national capital, are facing power shortage due to fast depleting coal stockpiles at power plants.
“Overall, coal and coke imports during the first 2 months (April-May) of 2018-19 stood at 36.49 MT, lower than 37.47 MT recorded for the same period last year,” according to mjuction services, an e-auction joint venture between Tata Steel and SAIL.
Coal import in May 2018 stood at 18.23 MT (provisional), marginally lower than 18.39 MT in May 2017, it said.
“The marginal drop in coal and coke imports in May (a decline of 0.5 per cent year-on-year) is mainly due to a decrease in coking coal imports during the month under review. There, however, was a slight increase in non-coking coal imports on both yearly and monthly basis,” it said.
On the coal import trend, mjunction CEO Vinaya Varma said, “The low stock position at power plants led to increased demand for non-coking coal import, but it was offset by the sharp increase in spot prices. Similarly, the recovery in met coal prices after a steady decline made the buyers wait for a clear direction, thus delaying procurement.”
The AAP government had last week written to Union Power Minister R K Singh that Delhi was staring at a power blackout due to the fast depleting coal stockpiles at power plants in the city and urged him to take up the issue with the Railways which transports coal to the national capital.