July 3, 2013 / 10:52 AM / in 5 years

India's May coal output down 3.25 pct y/y at 43.23 mln T -source

NEW DELHI, July 3 (Reuters) - India's coal production in May
fell 3.25 percent from a year earlier, the first drop in two
months, on lower-than-targeted output from miner Coal India Ltd
    The energy-hungry nation mined 43.23 million tonnes of coal
in May, a touch lower than 43.5 million tonnes dug out in the
prior month, provisional figures obtained from a government
source showed on Wednesday.
    Asia's third-largest economy struggles with frequent power
cuts due to insufficient supplies of coal and gas, which hinders
economic growth and forces the nation to seek costly imports.   
    India, which relies on coal to fuel more than half of its
power generation, leans on state-run miner Coal India for about
80 percent of its output.
    The overall target set for May by the government was 46
million tonnes, of which Coal India was to produce 36.5 million
tonnes, the document showed.
    But the miner's May output reached only 34.6 million tonnes,
trailing the target by almost 2 million tonnes.
    Coal India said on Tuesday that it had also missed its June
output target of 35.2 million tonnes, with production last month
at 32.6 million tonnes. 
    Reduced working hours imposed by the Odisha state government
due to a heat wave during the month hit the miner's output, a
Coal India spokesman said.
    The eastern Indian state along with the states of Jharkhand
and Chhattisgarh account for the bulk of India's coal
    "Also, unseasonal rains in some of the coal-producing areas
in May affected our production," the spokesman said.
    The four-month monsoon season normally begins in June and
local coal production typically drops during the period.
    India's thermal coal production fell 3.9 percent from a year
earlier to 39 million tonnes, provisional figures obtained by
Reuters showed.
    Coking coal output rose 3.4 percent to 4.2 million tonnes
during the month, the figures showed.
    In 2012/13, India produced 557.7 million tonnes of coal, 3.3
percent higher from a year earlier. 
    Following is a table on India's coal production for May
versus the year-ago period and the cumulative output for the
2013/14 fiscal year that began on April 1. 
    Volumes are given in million tonnes.
                         May 2013        May 2012   Apr-May 2013
Producer              Target     Actual    Actual      Actual
Coal India Ltd         36.50     34.55     35.57       70.30
Singareni Collieries    4.13      4.00      4.27        6.90
Captive and others      5.42      4.67      4.84        9.14
TOTAL*                 46.05      43.22    44.68       86.34
*Figures are rounded off.
SOURCE: Government.

 (Reporting by Malini Menon; Editing by Tom Hogue)
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