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Indian coal importers face big losses as stocks surpass 11Mt mark

Despite an acute fuel shortage, Indian power producers are refusing to buy expensive coal, leaving coal importers to face big losses as stocks mount up. Coal stock piles at various ports have reached record levels and are estimated to surpass the 11Mt mark. In addition, the depreciation of the Indian rupee and the recent drop in international coal prices have added to the plight of the importers.

“About 11.57 million tonnes of coal is lying at the ports. The traders, mostly small and inexperienced ones, bought coal from Indonesia and South Africa at higher prices. But the traders are holding the stock as they would not even be able to recover the costs with the kind of purchase offers being received,” a senior official in Bhatia International told the local The Economic Times.

India’s largest electricity generator NTPC plans to import around 16Mt of coal this financial year and blend 10-15% of imported coal at its stations. However, a senior official at the company said there were no buyers for expensive electricity generated by burning imported coal.

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