A dip in country's steel output is set to become more prominent in the coming months with declining imports of coking coal, a key raw material for the metal production, industry analysts said.
Coking coal imports in November declined by 14.52 per cent to 3.61 million tonnes (MT), against 4.22 MT in the same month last fiscal, Iman Resources said.
The country's crude steel production in November was down by 2.8 per cent to 8.9 MT, compared to the production figure of November 2018.
In October, India had reported a 3.4 per cent fall in crude steel output at 9.089 MT as against 9.408 MT in the same month in the previous fiscal, according to a global body.
Till November, import of coking coal in the current fiscal was 44.09 MT, recording a dip of 5.11 per cent over the corresponding period of the previous fiscal, when it recorded an import of 46.46 MT.
An analyst said if coking coal import declines sharply indications do not augur well for steel production in the coming months.
In contrast, import of thermal coal rose was at 16.15 MT in November, up by 10.34 per cent than the same month in 2018, Iman data said.
In April-November 2019, import of thermal coal was at 165.55 MT registering a jump of nearly 6 per cent over the corresponding period of 2018.
According to predictions of other agencies, thermal coal import for FY20 was likely between 185 MT and 200 MT.
In 2018-19, India imported 164 MT of thermal coal mostly targeted at coastal-based power plants and captive power plants.