Coal India sales reach record as power plants boost inventories


New Delhi: Coal India Ltd’s sales rose to a record in January as customers of the world’s biggest producer of the fuel continued to refill their inventories.

The miner, which accounts for more than 80% of India’s coal production, has increased output year-on-year every month since August, helping power plants, its biggest customers, replenish their inventories.

“Considering the robust demand from all consumers, there’s scope to increase shipments further,” said Goutam Chakraborty, an analyst at Emkay Global Financial Services in Mumbai. Coal India will seek to increase shipments in the coming months after it increased prices in January, he said.

Coal India has had to divert cargoes to power plants to prevent blackouts, while other buyers, including cement and aluminum makers, said they were being forced to pay more for imports.

Both output and sales missed targets for the month. Output for the first 10 months of the year ending 31 March rose 1.6% from a year earlier, while shipments increased 7.3%. livemint