Weak rupee cuts January coal imports by 33 percent

NEW DELHI Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:21pm IST

A worker sits on a truck being loaded with coal at a railway coal yard on the outskirts of Ahmedabad November 25, 2013. REUTERS/Amit Dave/Files

A worker sits on a truck being loaded with coal at a railway coal yard on the outskirts of Ahmedabad November 25, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Amit Dave/Files

Related Topics

Stocks

   

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The weak rupee cut India's imports of coal, the fuel that provides almost 60 percent of its electricity, by 33 percent in January from the same month last year, data from leading research group OreTeam showed on Monday.

Struggling domestic coal output has meant that India has jumped to the number three global importer, behind China and Japan. It is less reliant on imports of coking coal for its steel industry.

Imports were 9.2 million tonnes, down a third from the previous January's 13.6 million tonnes, and against 13.1 million in December, said Prakash Duvvuri, head of research at OreTeam.

"The fall in imports was mainly due to currency fluctuation ... which has kept a lid on coal imports," Duvvuri told Reuters.

The partially convertible rupee fell 1.4 percent in January on concerns of foreign outflows as the U.S. Federal Reserve cut its monetary stimulus.

Import of thermal coal, used in power generation, totalled 6.93 million tonnes in January while coking coal and lesser grades made up the rest, said OreTeam, which collects data from representatives at ports, mining regions and companies.

Asia's third-largest economy depends on state-run Coal India Ltd (COAL.NS) for about 80 percent of its output, but the company has fallen short of its targets for at least the past six years due to difficulties in obtaining environmental approvals, lack of railway access and other issues.

India sits on what BP ranks as the world's fifth-largest reserves.

"Also, the (milder) winters in the northern and eastern part of the country reduced electricity consumption, thus taking some load off the coal-fired power generators," said Duvvuri.

Most of India's coal imports come from Indonesia, South Africa, Australia and Canada. Imports of the fuel rose 21 percent to 152 million tonnes last year as power producers brought in more due to low prices and a domestic shortage, according to OreTeam.

India's thermal coal imports are expected to continue to rise as it races to up its per-capita power consumption of about 778 kilowatt-hour (kWh), equivalent to about 30 percent of the global average of 2,600 kWh. Power generation is expected to rise 7 percent to 975 billion kWh this fiscal year ending March 31.

Though the government does not regularly release data on coal imports, the Coal Ministry has said domestic output could fall short of demand by 155 million tonnes this fiscal year ending March.

(Editing by William Hardy)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Adani Project

Adani Project

Australia approves Adani's $16 bln Carmichael coal project  Full Article 

India-U.S. Talks

India-U.S. Talks

Kerry to woo Modi's India, but quick progress unlikely  Full Article 

Argentina Debt Default

Argentina Debt Default

Insight - Jaded Argentines brace for looming debt default   Full Article 

Anti-trust Probe

Anti-trust Probe

Microsoft targeted in apparent Chinese anti-trust probe  Full Article 

Mideast Conflict

Mideast Conflict

Israel strikes house of Hamas Gaza leader, digs in for long fight  Full Article 

Stiff Competition

Stiff Competition

China brands beat global rivals with tea toothpaste & pickled plums  Full Article 

Rising From Ashes

Rising From Ashes

With PlayStation network, Sony goes back to the future in search of revival  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage