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Downturn in India's coal imports may persist through December

India's coal imports in November were reported at 14 million tonnes, down 16.4% year-on-year, and likely to continue its descent in the near future due to demonetization and a spike in global markets, among other issues, The Press Trust of India reported Dec. 18, citing mjunction.

Vinaya Varma, mjunction CEO, noted that a spike in coal prices plus the restricted availability of the fuel seems to have affected coal imports in November 2016, as buyers chose to be cautious and wait for prices to drop, the report said.

Of the coal imported in November, non-coking coal accounted for 9.3 million tonnes, coking coal made up 2.87 million tonnes, pet coke 0.96 million tonnes, anthracite coal 0.16 million tonnes, PCI coal 0.40 million tonnes and met coke 0.38 million tonnes, the report said, citing mjunction.

State-owned Coal India Ltd., which accounts for over 80% of domestic coal production, said in October that it is aiming to replace around 15 million tonnes of imported coal with ones domestically produced within the next six months. The action was prompted by concerns over the fact that the country is importing the fossil fuel despite the current coal glut in India.