India’s coal imports

NEW DELHI: India’s annual coal imports are set to fall for the first time in five years as domestic output surges under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s push to expand domestic mining and eventually stop thermal coal imports by 2017. Shipments into the world’s third-largest coal importer nearly halved in November versus a year ago and should decline this month, leading to an overall annual decline, Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said on Monday. “This month too imports could be as bad,” Swarup said. “India’s power generation has gone up but coal stocks are still high, which reflects Coal India’s output growth.” Record production from state-owned producer Coal India has driven the turnaround. Its April to November output rose nine per cent to 321.4 million tonnes, as it opens a mine a month to double output to one billion tonnes this decade.