New Delhi: India's coal import increased by 7.8% to 212.11 million tonnes in the April-February period of FY19, a report said.
This comes at a time when the government is looking at relaxing the timeline for the 1 billion tonne coal production target it had set earlier for Coal India (CIL), which accounts for over 80% of the domestic coal output.
The country produced 196.59 million tonnes (MT) of coal in April-February period of fiscal 2017-18, according to the report by mjunction services.
"During April-February 2018-19, coal and coke imports stood at 212.11 MT, about 7.89% increase over 196.59 MT recorded for the same period last year," it said.
Coal imports in the month of February was at 18.31 MT (provisional) as compared to 21.15 MT (revised) in January 2019, it said.
Coal and coke imports in February 2018 stood at 15.98 MT, according to mjunction's compilation.
"Coking coal imports saw a marginal decline in February, primarily due to the firm prices and not so upbeat outlook for the Indian steel sector. Real estate and auto sector's consumption of steel was down, which impacted production.
"Non-coking coal offers, however, eased during the month in select markets, leading to steady import demand," mjunction MD and CEO Vinaya Varma said. mjunction -- a joint venture between Tata Steel and SAIL — is a B2B e-commerce company and also publishes research reports on coal and steel verticals.
Of the total imports during February 2019, non-coking coal was at 13.86 MT, against 14.59 MT imported in January 2019, it said.
Coking coal imports were at 2.93 MT in February 2019, down against 3.32 MT a month ago.
Metallurgical coke imports during the month were at 0.26 MT, while 0.34 MT was imported in January.