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Coal India posts record annual output

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Coal India posts record annual output

Amid global oversupply, Coal India Ltd. produced a record 536 million tonnes ofcoal in the year ended March 31, representing an 8.5% increase year over yearfrom the preceding year but short of the 550 million-tonne annual outputtarget, Bloomberg News reported April 1, citing a Twitter post by India's coalsecretary, Anil Swarup.

Production growth slowed in March after the company crossedthe 500 million-tonne output mark, which according to reports could lead to thecoal ministry setting a highertarget of 610 million tonnes for the state-owned coal major thisyear.

At Coal India, the government is aiming to of 1 billiontonnes per year by 2020 to cater to the country's electricity needs.

As reported earlier, the miner's stockpiles in March alsoincreased from 47 million tonnes previously to 53 million tonnes as inventoriesat power plants also touched to record of 2008.

In order to deal with the oversupply "Coal India willhave to tap new customers, who are still having to import coal … [as] lowdemand from state power distribution companies is casting doubts over thecompany's production plans,"said Rahul Dholam, a Mumbai-based analyst at Angel Broking Ltd., Bloombergadded.

Indian coal imports fell 16% year over year to 148.9 milliontonnes for the 10-month period ended Jan. 31.