State-owned Coal India is likely to post marginal contraction of its output for the year 2020-21 by 5-6 million tonnes, as its production slated to fall below the 600 million mark. Covid-19 disruptions caused a lower demand forcing the world’s largest coal miner to moderate the output
In 2019-20, the miner produced 602 million tonnes down from 606.9 million tonnes in 2018-19 when it registered its highest production. It will be the second year in a row when the miner will register degrowth. Coal India had projected a 660 million tonnes production target and by mid-year the company had been expecting to attain 630-640 million tonnes of output.
Till March 27, the production was 585 million tonnes and 11 million tonnes are expected to be added in the remaining days of the month. So, total production is estimated to be between 596- 597 million tonnes. Offtake for the year is expected to be around 577 million tonnes.
Inventory with Coal India stood at around 77.8 million tonnes as of February-end, up from 66.8 million tonnes at the end of January 2021.
Domestic power plants are well stocked with coal supplies. Coal stocks at power plants stood at 31.9 million tonnes at the end of February, enough to last 17 days. This has resulted in a fall in coal offtake for the third straight month. Coal offtake fell by 7 per cent year on year during February 2021.
Meanwhile India’s coal import dropped 13.6 per cent to 196.13 million tonnes in the April-February period of the ongoing fiscal year. The country had imported 227.23 million tonnes of coal in the year-ago period, according to a report by mjunction services. mjunction — a joint venture between Tata Steel and SAIL — is a B2B e-commerce company and also publishes research reports on coal and steel verticals.
“For April-February 2020-21, total coal and coke imports stood at 196.13 million tonnes, about 13.69 per cent lower than 227.23 million tonnes imported during April-February 2019-20,” it said. During April-February 2020-21, non-coking coal import was at 128.91 million tonnes, against 157.59 million tonnes during the year-ago period.