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Coal India Output Rises for Second Straight Month



By Rajesh Kumar Singh

October 4, 2017 - Coal India Ltd., the world’s biggest producer of coal, reported its second straight year-on-year increase in monthly production following a surge in demand from power plants.

Output in September rose 10 percent to 38.8 million metric tons, while shipments, which climbed for the eleventh consecutive month, advanced 15.5 percent to 43.6 million tons from a year earlier, according to a company filing on Tuesday. Output and shipments surpassed targets and were the highest for September, data going back to 2013 shows.

The Kolkata-based state-owned miner, which trimmed its output and shipment targets this financial year anticipating slower-than-expected demand growth, increased mining in the last two months to meet a sudden spurt in demand. Lower generation from non-fossil sources including hydro, wind and nuclear boosted generation at coal-based power stations.

“A longer-term recovery in coal demand is in sight,” Rupesh Sankhe, an analyst at Reliance Securities Ltd., said before the data was released. “The government’s plan to provide electricity to all households and expected steps to boost industrial output bodes well for coal demand in the country.”

A receding monsoon season is expected to aid production and transport of the fuel, helping power stations replenish their coal inventories, which plunged to the lowest since Nov. 2014 at the end of September.

Output for the first half of the year to March 31 rose 0.8 percent, while shipments jumped 8 percent, according to the filing.