The fresh Covid-19 restrictions in several Indian states are set to weigh further on India's electricity demand, putting more pressure on the national coal burn, a unit of rating, ratings agency Moody's said.
The country's overall electricity demand is likely to decline by 5-6pc in the 2020-21 financial year that would end in March, from a year earlier, according to rating agency Icra — Moody's Indian subsidiary. In April, it had estimated that demand would contract by 1pc in 2020-21 over 2019-20.
India in June partially lifted its nationwide curbs aimed at containing the spread of the pandemic. But with the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 growing rapidly, several Indian states have tightened the curbs and imposed further lockdowns.
These restrictions are expected to weigh on industrial activity and curtail power demand and generation further, Icra said.
In January-June, India posted a 11.7GW drop in power demand from a year ago, following a sluggish global trend.
Indian coal-fired output fell to 102GW in January-June, down from 119GW, Central Electricity Authority data show.
The fresh lockdowns in some states are expected to erode the recent recovery in power demand, further hurting the outlook for coal imports.
India's imports are likely to fall this year — even if coal demand fully recovers or grows — as inventories remain at historic highs. Indian thermal coal receipts shrank in the first half of this year with imports falling sharply in June.
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