China’s daily output of coal rebounds to over 12 million tonnes; India’s coal sector faces challenging times

China’s coal output returned to more than 12 million tonnes per day, the country’s state planner said, a level equal to the average daily production of the fourth quarter of last year. Daily coal output in January and early February was affected by the Chinese New Year holiday.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NRDC) did not give a figure for January output. Production and supply of coal in China’s main production areas of Shanxi, Shaanxi and Inner Mongolia are expected to stabilise as the weather warms up, the NDRC said.

Authorities have ordered coal miners to run at maximum capacity to tame red-hot coal prices and prevent a recurrence of September’s nationwide power crunch that disrupted industrial operations and added to factory gate inflation.

Meanwhile India is facing a challenge, as imports of coal have fallen due to high spike in prices. State-owned CIL said the second half of the current fiscal year has remained tough for the country’s coal sector with decrease in coal imports and tripling of international coal prices. Besides, the prolonged monsoon in the coal-bearing areas made the situation more challenging.

But Coal India Ltd (CIL) rose to the occasion and fulfilled the demand of additional coal for thermal power plants, the PSU said in a statement. CIL supplied around 20 million tonnes of additional coal due to curtailed import of coal.

The company further said it has been conferred with the ‘Most Dependable Public Sector in India’ award. The award comes at a time when CIL has kept the country out of any power outage in the wake of unprecedented coal demand, witnessed by the country in the recent past, the statement said. CIL accounts for over 80 per cent of domestic coal output. The PSU is targeting one billion tonnes of coal production by 2023-24.

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