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Coal imports seen rising sharply in FY16

Coal imports are expected to surge through the next fiscal, with inbound shipments estimated at 220-240 million tonnes (mt), up from 185-190 mt in the current year.

However, with the price of coal dropping continuously, the import bill should remain well under control. The annual bill has stayed around $17 billion over FY12 to FY14 despite rising imports. In the current financial year during April-August, it stood at $7.2 billion.

ICRA has projected the full year’s bill to be around $15 billion. As for FY16, the volume is likely to rise by 15-20 per cent. It feels the bill might be around $18 billion as prices are likely to remain under pressure.

The Supreme Court recently cancelled around 200 coal block allocations which will now be auctioned. Simultaneously, new power capacities would be commissioned in FY16. This means the demand for coal is set to grow, resulting in higher import. Coal prices are currently 20 per cent lower than in the year-ago period.

According to a senior official of ICRA, imports will rise sharply in FY16. "Almost 30 mt of the increase will be because of the expected commissioning of new power capacities. If there is a delay in auctioning of operational or soon-to-be operational blocks, which are 42 in number, then more might have to be imported," he said.

Source : Exim News Service - NEW DELHI, Nov. 4

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