New Delhi, Nov 9: India has been importing coal to bridge the gap between the requirement of coal and the domestic production in the country. The dependence on imports for coking coal mainly used in the steel sector has been predominantly due to very limited domestic availability.
Thus, import under this category has been largely non substitutable. Even though the import of coking coal is non-substitutable, consequent to the sustained effort of the government, in line with mission ‘AtmaNirbhar, the imports of various grades of non coking coal have reduced substantially during the current financial year. The latter includes high GCV thermal coal used for industrial purpose and low GCV that goes for power generation.
In the first five months of the Financial Year 2021-22 i.e. up to August 2021(Firm import data is available up to August,21), the import of all varieties of non coking coal has reduced to 70.85 MT from 84.44 MT during the corresponding months of the financial year 2019-20 representing a decline of about 16.09%. The financial year 2020- 21 is not being taken for comparison purpose due to industrial production getting severely affected during this year because of Covid-19 related restrictions where the decline observed is 21%.
The reduction of imports of low calorific value (low GCV) of non coking coal which is mainly used in power sector is even more significant. During FY 2021-22 upto Aug 21, the imports of such grades of coal have decreased by about 47% to 15.24 MT from 28.69 MT during the same period of FY 2019-20. Due to substantial reduction of import of non coking coal in the current year, the total import of coal has also reduced to 94.15 MT in the period from April to August 2021 compared to 107.01 MT during the corresponding period of FY 2019-20, a decrease of about 12%. This has resulted in considerable financial savings in the current year as coal prices are going up sharply in the international market.
The total domestic dispatch of coal has gone up by 9.44% to 317.69 MT in the current FY upto August, 21 as compared to 290.28 MT in the same period of FY 2019-20. This increase could be achieved despite serious challenges arising out of unprecedented rain in several mine areas this year. The government is continuing all efforts to further enhance the coal production and dispatch. Coal India Limited and other coal producing Units are all set to ramp up the domestic production.