July 25, 2013 / 2:14 PM / 4 years ago

India's June coal output falls as rain hits mines

By Malini Menon
    NEW DELHI, July 25 (Reuters) - India produced 3 percent less
coal in June from a year earlier, as heavy rain hit mine
operations, prompting the world's third-largest producer to log
its worst monthly output this year.
    The second straight monthly drop in production was mainly
due to a lower-than-targeted output from miner Coal India Ltd
, which accounts for around 80 percent of India's coal.
    India, which relies on coal to fuel more than half of its
power generation, struggles with frequent power cuts due to
insufficient supplies of coal and gas, which hinders economic
growth and forces the nation to seek costly imports.
    It mined 40.46 million tonnes of coal in June, much lower
than 43.23 million tonnes dug out in the prior month,
provisional figures obtained from a government source showed on
Thursday.
    The overall target set for June by the government was 44.73
million tonnes, of which Coal India was to produce 35.23 million
tonnes, the document showed.
    However, the miner, which has often lagged coal production
targets, fell short by more than 2.5 million tonnes.
    "The Western Coalfields and Northern Coalfields received
more rainfall compared with the previous year which affected
production," said a Coal India source, who did not wish to be
named.
    He was referring to two of the seven producing subsidiaries
of Coal India, the world's top coal miner.
    The four-month monsoon season normally begins in June and
local coal production typically drops during the period.
    The miner recorded a meagre production growth of 0.4 percent
during the April-June quarter, recording a cumulative output of
102.87 million tonnes.
    "The general trend has been that we produce the most during
the last six months of the fiscal year," the source added.
    India's thermal coal production fell 3.94 percent from a
year earlier to 36.31 million tonnes, provisional figures
obtained by Reuters showed.
    India's reserves are biased toward lower-rank thermal coal.
    Output of coking coal, used in steel-making, rose 6 percent
to 4.15 million tonnes during the month, the figures showed.
    In 2012/13, India produced 557.7 million tonnes of coal, 3.3
percent higher from a year earlier. 
    Following is a table on India's coal production for June
versus the year-ago period and the cumulative output for the
2013/14 fiscal year that began on April 1. 
    Volumes are given in million tonnes.
    
                        June 2013       June 2012   Apr-Jun 2013
Producer              Target     Actual    Actual      Actual
Coal India Ltd         35.23     32.57     33.09      102.87
Singareni Collieries    4.08      3.49      4.23       10.40
Captive and others      5.42      4.39      4.39       13.38
----------------------------------------------------------------
TOTAL*                 44.73      40.45    41.71      126.65
----------------------------------------------------------------
*Figures are rounded off.
SOURCE: Government.

 (Editing by William Hardy)

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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