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Coal imports: Likely to keep going up
May 17:   Coal imports grew by 8.1% in FY18 when it was widely anticipated to fall. This has happened on the back of sustained demand from steel sector for coking coal and steady demand from the power and cement industry.
8What really is going on?
8It is now projected that total coal production may stagnate during the year given no visible improvement in availability of rakes or increase in evacuation infrastructure for mined coal. It is now expected that the total domestic coal production will grow in the range of 2.5-3.5% (705-712) MT for FY19.
8There is an immediate requirement therefore to auction private coal blocks of coking and steam coal for 50 MT per annum, in order to control import of steam and coking coal.
8Total import of coal including coking coal and steam coal could touch 235-245 MT if the government approves an order to ban use of pet coke which is a feedstock in cement industry.
8Additional 35- 40 MT of imported steam coal would be required to compensate for the pet coke ban.
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