World's Largest Coal Miner Posts Record Haul as Oversupply Looms

  • Coal India boosts annual production 8.5% to 536 million tons
  • Company seeks new customers as stockpiles surge to record

Coal India Ltd., the world’s biggest miner of the fuel, produced a record amount the past year, adding to a global oversupply.

The state-run company boosted output 8.5 percent to 536 million metric tons in the year ended March 31, federal Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said in a Twitter message. The pace of growth slowed last month as inventories at the nation’s power plants surged to the most in records going back to 2008.

“To be able to counter the oversupply situation, Coal India will have to tap new customers, who are still having to import coal,” said Rahul Dholam, an analyst at Mumbai-based Angel Broking Ltd. “Low demand from state power distribution companies is casting doubts over the company’s production plans.”

The government has set Coal India an annual output target of 1 billion tons by the year 2020. Boosting production at the Kolkata-based miner is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to provide affordable electricity to every household and reduce the nation’s dependence on imports.

Coal India fell 1.6 percent to 287.30 rupees as of 2:54 p.m. in Mumbai. The stock has lost 13 percent this year, compared with a 3.4 percent decline in the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex.

India’s coal imports in the ten months ended Jan. 31 dropped 16 percent to 148.9 million tons, Swarup, the top bureaucrat in the coal ministry, said via Twitter in February.

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