London — Combined stocks of thermal coal at 100 Indian power plants were 30.23 million mt Wednesday, three times the 10.08 million mt recorded at power plants at the same time last year, according to data released by India's Central Electricity Authority Friday.
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The volume was also 1.5% higher on the month and was enough supply for 24 days of coal burn, up from only seven a year ago and 20 days on June 22.
Power plant coal stock levels reached a record high of 30.5 million mt on July 2 and have been hovering near this level since.
CEA's data showed that the number of Indian power plants with less than a week's supply of coal was six, down from 13 a month ago and 47 at the same time last year.
Of these, only two had inventories lasting less than four days of consumption, slipping from five a month ago and 27 at the same time last year.
The data also showed that, of the current coal stocks, 2.8 million mt was imported coal, more than triple the 914,000 mt of imported coal recorded on July 22, 2014.
However, the volume slipped 13.4% on the month.
Sources have been noting that demand for imported thermal coal has been low due to power plants running below their full capacity as a result as poor electricity demand.
The ongoing monsoon season has also limited buying, with credit issues also playing a part, sources said.