Pakistan’s import of coal for power generation and cement industry has decreased during the period of July-September 2019-20 due to reduced demand in these industries, according to estimates by Central Bank of Pakistan in its latest report for the same quarter.
Coal imports dropped by a sharp 41.4 per cent YoY to US$272.2m during the quarter. Quantum imports and unit prices of the commodity were both lower than last year. Demand for imported coal dropped from both the power and cement sectors.
In case of power, demand for imported coal dropped as the country began utilising indigenous coal for electricity generation. A 660MW project using Thar coal from Sindh province began commercial operations in July 2019. Due to this, electricity generation from coal rose 45.3 per cent YoY during the quarter, and, like LNG, partially offset the decline in fuel oil-based power generation.
Meanwhile, coal import demand from the domestic cement industry also fell, as production dropped 1.5 per cent in the quarter, with manufacturers facing uncertain demand dynamics. The lower production reduced their demand for coal, which is a major raw material for the industry.