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New Delhi: India, the world’s third-largest coal user, increased imports of the fuel by 48% in June.

Adani Enterprises Ltd, Tata Group, JSW Group and Steel Authority of India Ltd were among companies that received 15.53 million tonnes of coal in the month, from 10.50 million a year earlier, according to Interocean Group, a New Delhi-based shipper. The shipments comprised 12.73 million tonnes of steam coal and 2.80 million of coking coal, at 22 ports.

Power producers rely on imports to bridge a shortfall from Coal India Ltd, the monopoly supplier. On 30 June, 17 power plants in the country had stockpiles equivalent to fewer than seven days of generation, according to the Central Electricity Authority, which monitors the development and operation of plants. Stocks of fewer than 15 days are considered critical.

The port of Mundra, operated by Adani Group, India’s biggest coal importer, received the most, at 2.4 million tonnes, according to Interocean data. The eastern ports of Paradip, Krishnapatnam and Gangavaram handled 2.15 million tonnes, 1.68 million tonnes and about 945,000 tonnes, respectively.

Indonesia was the biggest source of the shipments, accounting for 11.5 million tonnes, the data show. Australia supplied about 2.3 million and South Africa exported about 809,000 tonnes. Imports from the US were about 598,000 tonnes. Canada, New Zealand and Mozambique shipped about 193,600 tonnes, 54,000 tonnes and 47,300 tonnes, respectively.

Power-station coal at the Australian port of Newcastle, the Asian benchmark price, rose 0.5% to $77.10 a tonne in the week ended 26 July, according to data from IHS McCloskey. It was the third weekly advance.

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