London — Combined stocks of thermal coal at 100 Indian power plants were 30.51 million mt Tuesday, nearing the record high of 30.59 reached at the beginning of July, according to data released by India's Central Electricity Authority Friday.
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The volume remained more than triple the 9.7 million mt recorded at power plants a year ago and was also 0.1% higher than on July 5, the data showed.
The Indian power plants had enough supply for 25 days of coal burn Tuesday, steady on the week, but rising from only seven a year ago and 22 days at the same time last month.
CEA's data showed that the number of Indian power plants with less than a week's supply of coal was four on Tuesday, down from 10 a month ago and 48 at the same time last year.
Of these, only one had inventories lasting less than four days of consumption, slipping from four a month ago and 25 at the same time in 2014.
The data also showed that, of the current coal stocks, 2.55 million mt was imported coal, remaining below the 3 million mt mark for the fifth week.
The volume of imported coal stocks was more than double the 1.12 million mt of imported coal recorded on August 4, 2014. However, the volume slipped 9.4% on the month.
The monsoon season has been affecting buying interest for imported coal, along with credit availability and weak coal consumption from power and manufacturing sectors.
However, market sources have been saying this week that demand might slowly increase, with Indian buyers looking for cargoes for loading in late August.