Coal imports expected to touch 219 million tonnes in FY23

India’s coal imports are expected to grow by 5 per cent y-o-y to 219 million tonnes (mt) in the current financial year with in-bound shipments of coking coal expected at 60 mt and non-coking coal at 159 mt.

“As per the annual plan 2022-23, the targets for domestic coal production and imports have been estimated at 911 mt and 219 mt, respectively,” Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi said in Lok Sabha.

As per government data, the total quantum of coal imported during the January-September 2022 period stood at 179.95 mt. The average landed price of imported coal during this period stood at ₹19,324.79 per tonne.

India’s cumulative coal requirement in FY23 is expected at 1,087 mt, of which the requirement from the power sector is 775 mt and the steel industries is 70 mt. The requirement for the non-regulated sector (NRS) industries such as sponge, iron and cement is estimated at 242 mt.

Power sector imports

The power sector coal imports rose in FY23 due to lesser supply from domestic sources and higher demand for electricity during the peak demand summer season. Against the total import of 27 mt by the sector in FY22, the import of the key commodity during April-October stood at 38.84 mt.

As per the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), the stock of imported coal available at power plants as of January 2022 was 1.1 mt, which rose to 6.3 mt as of October 2022.

India imports coking coal and high grade (GCV) coal which are essential as domestic production is limited due to scarce reserves or non-availability. Coal is kept under Open General License (OGL) and consumers are free to import coal from the source of their choice as per their contractual prices on payment of applicable duty.

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