India’s 2018 thermal coal imports grew at the fastest pace in four years, according to two industry sources, despite moves by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to cut imports in a bid to reduce its trade deficit.
Coal is among the top five commodities imported by India, one of the world’s largest consumers of coal, and the rise in imports of the fuel after two consecutive years of decline adds to its trade deficit.
That trade gap has been hurting the valuation of the rupee.
The worst performing major Asian currency in 2018.
Thermal coal imports jumped 19 percent to 171.85 million tonnes in 2018, the highest since 2014, according to data from American Fuels & Natural Resources, a Dubai-based trader of U.S. origin coal.
Thermal coal is mainly used to produce electricity.
India imported 52.26 million tonnes of coking coal in 2018, up 14 percent from 45.93 million tonnes in 2017, the data showed.