India's coal import rose 11.9 per cent to 78.7 million tonnes in the first four months of the current fiscal. The country had imported 70.3 million tonnes (MT) coal in April-July period of the last fiscal, mjunction services, a joint venture between Tata Steel and SAIL, told PTI.
"Overall, coal and coke imports during the first 4 months (April-July) of 2018-19 stood at 78.79 MT, about 12 per cent higher than 70.33 MT recorded for the same period last year," it said.
The country's coal import in July increased by 42 per cent to 20.79 MT (provisional), over 14.64 MT (revised) in the same month previous year.
"Coal import (all types of coal) in July 2018 stood at 20.79 million tonnes (MT) (provisional), higher than 18.75 MT (revised) in June 2018 and also higher than 14.64 MT (revised) in July 2017," mjunction services said.
The increase in coal and coke imports in July is mainly due to a 12.9 per cent growth (month-on-month) in non-coking coal shipments, it said.
There was also a marginal growth in coking coal imports in July on a monthly basis, it added.
"Steam coal imports went up in July as the power plants continued to face shortage despite the best efforts by domestic miners to mitigate the gap. Also, there was a slight easing of prices in the international markets and expectation of further corrections, going forward, prompted the buyers to take fresh positions," mjunction CEO Vinaya Varma said.
The government earlier said that during 2017-18 coal imports increased to 208.27 MT due to increase in demand by consuming sectors.
The country's coal import fell from 217.7 million tonnes in 2014-15 to 190.9 MT in 2016-17.