NEW DELHI, Oct 23 (Reuters) - India's thermal and coking coal imports rose 18 percent to 63.98 million tonnes in April to September from a year ago, coal ministry figures provided by an official showed, as local supplies continued to lag galloping demand.
Asia's third-largest economy imported 102.853 million tonnes of thermal and coking coal in the 2011/12 fiscal year, jumping nearly 50 percent from a year earlier, the figures given to Reuters on Tuesday showed.
The ministry expects India to produce 574.40 million tonnes of coal in 2012/13, 6.4 percent more than in the previous fiscal year.
But the shortfall between India's domestic coal supply and coal demand will be around 192 million tonnes in the fiscal year to March 2013, according to the coal ministry.
India is seen importing 100 million tonnes of thermal coal alone in this fiscal year, despite a sluggish revival of post-monsoon spot buying and a slowing economy, suppliers and end-users have said.
Indian thermal coal imports were 71.052 million tonnes in the last fiscal year, while its coking coal imports stood at 31.801 million tonnes. (Reporting by Malini Menon; Editing by Jo Winterbottom)