NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's ICRA Ltd, a unit of Moody's Investors Service Co, said on Monday it expects the energy hungry nation's thermal coal imports to be more than 200 million tonnes in 2019/20, due to lower-than-expected production by state-run Coal India Ltd.
ICRA said it expects Coal India, which has missed annual production targets over the last few years, to fall short of its 2019/20 production forecast of 660 million tonnes by up to 75 million tonnes.
Coal India's output for the six months ended September 2019 has fallen 6%, mainly due to the highest rainfall in 25 years and strikes by its workers over issues ranging from mine safety to the privatisation of the company.
India's thermal coal imports rose 13.7% to 183.4 million tonnes during the year ended March 2019, according to government data.
(Reporting by Sudarshan Varadhan, editing by Louise Heavens)