By Niraj Chinchkhede :
Following a similar trend, coal also witnessed a record price of Rs 8,000 per tonne in the latest auction conducted here by the miners
Consumers bearing the brunt of soaring fuel prices for the past few months, suffered yet another blow on Sunday when petrol, diesel and coal touched their all time highs. The state-owned oil marketing companies increased the price of petrol by 24 paise to push it to a level of Rs 108.37 per liter and diesel by 31 paise to take the fuel to new high of Rs
96.95 per liter in the city. Petrol and diesel prices are showing continuous hikes for the past many days giving a tough time to the common man. Experts attribute the rise in petrol and diesel prices to various international factors. Following a similar trend, coal also witnessed a record price of Rs 8,000 per tonne in the latest auction conducted here by the miners. Thermal coal was trading in a price range of Rs 3,000 to Rs 3,500 per tonne at the beginning of the current year. But as the Governments started easing COVID-19 restrictions and power demand started picking up, coal prices had jumped to a level of Rs 5,000 to Rs 5,500 per tonne in June-July.
The price further went up to a level of Rs 7,000 per tonne in August and in the latest auction, the commodity saw a record high of Rs 8,000 per tonne. The all-time high coal prices are burning a deep hole in the pockets of industrial category consumers. Power generating companies and steel manufacturers among others are the worst affected ones. General Secretary of the Central India Coal Dealers Association Rajendra Bansal said the prices are constantly going up ever since the industrial activities across the country started getting to a normal. “We are witnessing price rise in every auction held here,” he said, adding that the auctions are done twice a month.
Bansal said that various factors at the international level are pushing up the coal prices. “It is quite obvious that the demand for coal has increased manifold after the pandemic. Power generating companies are in need of increased quantities of the commodity and so are the other industrial consumers. But, the production of coal is not yet at the desired levels,” he said. It is important to note that Indonesia is a leading coal exporting country which also supplies the commodity in the Indian markets. But in the current scenario, a large number of miners in Indonesia are closed and thus coal arrival from the country has dropped. Moreover China is also buying a huge quantity of coal from international markets. Similarly, India’s coal production is also not complementing the domestic demand. Many mines in the country are still operating below their capacity.