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Why did ASX coal shares having such a stellar run on Thursday?

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ASX coal shares finished ahead today amid India reportedly planning to step up coal imports.

Three major ASX coal shares include Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX: WHC)Yancoal Australia Ltd (ASX: YAL) and New Hope Corporation Limited (ASX: NHC).

The Whitehaven share price surged 6.9% today, Yancoal leapt 3.96% and New Hope rocketed 4.55%.

Let’s take a look at what weighed on ASX coal shares today.

Indian to import more coal

The Indian power minister has asked states to boost coal imports, Reuters reported. India is the next biggest coal exporter in the world after China. The country has 28 states and 8 union territories.

India wants to increase coal imports to boost coal inventories and meet demand for the commodity.

An official who attended a meeting between Indian power minister Raj Kumar Singh and the states told Reuters:

The states were asked to continue importing because the private sector will take till at least early 2025 to produce significant output

The coal price climbed 0.32% in global markets to US$326.05 per tonne, Trading Economics data shows. Amid the Russian sanctions on coal, some top consumers are looking to buy more from countries including Australia and South Africa.

Whitehaven recorded a record average coal price of $315 per tonne in the third quarter, up 211% from $101 in the prior corresponding period.

The Whitehaven share price has surged 304.9% in a year, while Yancoal has risen 156%. Meanwhile, New Hope shares have rocketed 200%.

In contrast, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has increased 4.14% in the past year.

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