Coal India annual production drops for second straight year

CHENNAI, April 1 (Reuters) - Coal India Ltd, the world’s largest coal miner, said on Thursday its annual production fell for the second straight year, as lower electricity consumption due to coronavirus-induced lockdowns hurt fuel demand.

The state-run miner produced 596.2 million tonnes of coal for the year ended March 31, compared with 602.1 million tonnes last year. Coal sales fell 1.3% to 573.8 million tonnes, the company said in a statement.

“Primarily, what hurt Coal India’s supplies was reduced coal lifting by the power Sector,” the miner said.

A lack of supplies has led to an inventory of 99 million tonnes, rising by about 25% from the same period last year, it added.

“With the expected demand revival during summer months of Q1, the company has sufficient buffer to meet any surge and the stocks would be reduced substantially.” (Reporting by Sudarshan Varadhan; Editing by Rashmi Aich)