India’s National Coal Index (NCI) witnessed a significant increase, rising 3.83 points to 143.91 in September. This boost was the first since April 2023 and was driven by a temporary spike in global coal prices, according to the Union Coal Ministry.
Understanding the NCI
- NCI is a price index that combines coal prices from various sources like sales channels, notified prices, auction prices, and import prices. It helps determine premiums and revenue shares based on market demand.
Reasons Behind the Rise
- The rise in NCI indicates a growing demand for coal due to the upcoming festive season and winter in India.
- This trend encourages coal producers to increase domestic coal production to meet the rising energy demands.
Demand from Power Sector
- India has experienced a surge in coal demand, particularly from the power sector, driven by increasing power needs.
- Power plants have continued importing coal, following government mandates to blend imported coal.
- In the current fiscal year (April-October), India produced 507.01 million metric tonnes of coal, showing a 13.02% year-on-year growth.
- The government aims to reach an annual production of 1 billion tonnes this fiscal year.
Captive and Commercial Mines
- Captive and commercial mines have collectively produced 75.94 million tonnes so far and are expected to reach 162 million tonnes by the fiscal year-end.
- In the previous fiscal year (FY23), India produced 893.19 million tonnes of coal, showing a 14.77% growth from the previous year.