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Indian power plant thermal coal stocks rise further to reach new highs: CEA

London — Combined stocks of thermal coal at 101 Indian power plants rose to a new record of 34.2 million mt Wednesday, up 11% from a month ago and more than double the 16.2 million mt on stock at the same time last year, according to data released Friday by India's Central Electricity Authority.

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Stock levels reached a previous record high of 30.63 million mt on August 23 last year, but dropped to 23.7 million on October 28 before reaching a new all-time high of 30.8 million mt on December 28, with levels increasing since.

The data showed Indian power plants had enough supply for 25 days of coal burn Wednesday, up from 23 a month ago and 11 at the same time last year.

CEA's data showed there were no Indian power plants with less than a week's supply of coal Thursday, unchanged from a month ago and 28 on January 27, 2015.

There were also no power plants with inventories lasting less than four days of consumption, also unchanged from last month and dropping from 12 a year ago.

Despite record high stock levels, the volume of imported coal on the stocks were 7.2% lower on the month at 2.1 million mt, also falling 2.5% year on year, according to the data.

Rising costs of South African and high CV Indonesian thermal coal have hindered buying interest from Indian buyers for imported thermal coal, with price volatility and narrowing discounts also resulting in reluctance to conclude deals, according to sources.

--Jacqueline Holman,
--Edited by James Leech,