October 4, 2013 / 12:44 PM / 5 years ago

India's August coal output up 5.45 pct y/y but below target-source

By Malini Menon
    NEW DELHI, Oct 4 (Reuters) - India's coal production rose
5.45 percent in August from a year earlier, its sharpest monthly
increase this year, but still lagged a monthly target as monsoon
rains hit mining operations, provisional figures obtained from a
government source showed.
    At 38.15 million tonnes, it was the lowest monthly output so
far this year, and missed its August target by slightly more
than 4 million tonnes.
    Any lower-than-expected local production of coal leads to a
supply squeeze in energy-hungry India, which is battling
crippling power cuts that choke growth and necessitate costlier
coal imports.
    India's four-month monsoon season normally begins in June
and the production of the power station fuel typically drops
during the period due to restricted operations.
    State-run miner Coal India Ltd, which accounts for
around 80 percent of India's coal, produced 31.68 million tonnes
in August, up nearly 11 percent from a year earlier.
    Yet that was 1 percent lower than its monthly target, which
the miner has achieved only once in the five months to August.
    The world's top miner is chasing a production target of 482
million tonnes and a supply target of 492 million tonnes in this
fiscal year to end-March 2014.
    India, the world's third-largest coal producer, dug out
203.51 million tonnes of it between April and August, a marginal
0.33 percent lower from a year earlier.
    The production of thermal or steam coal used in power
generation, rose 4.13 percent from a year earlier to 34.07
million tonnes, provisional figures obtained by Reuters showed.
    India's reserves, the world's fifth largest, are dominated
by lower-rank thermal coal.
    Output of coking coal, used in steel-making, rose 17.96
percent to 4.08 million tonnes in August, the figures showed.
    In 2012/13, India produced 557.7 million tonnes of coal, 3.3
percent more than the year before. 
    Below is a table on coal production for August versus the
year-ago period and cumulative output for the 2013/14 fiscal
year which began on April 1.
    Volumes are given in million tonnes.
                           Aug 2013      Aug 2012   Apr-Aug 2013
Producer              Target     Actual    Actual      Actual
Coal India Ltd         32.73     31.68     28.59      167.32
Singareni Collieries    4.09      3.07      3.88       16.66
Captive and others      5.42      3.40      3.71       19.53
TOTAL*                 42.24     38.15      36.18     203.51
*Figures are provisional and rounded off.
SOURCE: Government source

 (Editing by James Jukwey)
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