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India's coal imports up 9.6% amid supply shortage at power plants

India's coal imports climbed 9.6% year over year to 18.3 million tonnes in September amid a supply deficit at the country's power plants, the Press Trust of India reported Oct. 9, citing data from a procurement and sales platform run by public and private steelmakers.

The increase comes after five consecutive months of year-over-year decline.

Vinaya Varma, CEO of the Mjunction Services platform, told the news outlet that utilities are looking to boost stocks for the approaching winter, adding that the healthy growth in coal-fired generation has raised demand for the fossil fuel and resulted in higher off-take from domestic sources as well as imports.

During the 2016-2017 fiscal year, coal imports fell 6.37% to 192 million tonnes due to Coal India Ltd.'s higher production.

Recently, the state-owned coal company has been urged "to use all means" to increase supply as the country's coal inventory slipped to an average of six days of power generation against a threshold of more than 20 days of their stipulated coal supply as reserve.