While shipping coal to neighboring countries was the most obvious choice to mark India’s entry into coal exports in the short term, domestic coal miners led by CIL would have to draw up medium- and short-term strategies to make its presence felt in international coal markets, as in the long term, a steady presence in overseas markets would be key to efficient stock management.

Stock management would be an important aspect for the country in achieving the target of 1-billion-tpy production over the next four years, a senior government official said pointing out that domestic demands, too, were increasingly cyclical.

While over the past four months, CIL has been able to reduce its pithead stocks from an all-time high of 50 million tons to levels of 43 million tons in June, incentivizing domestic consumers to increase off-take in the midst of falling demand for electricity would only have a very limited impact on stock management in the medium term.