US met coal exports to China double in January
US exports of coking coal rose by 37.5pc on the year in January to nearly 3.7mn t, with the increase driven by sharp increases in shipments to China, the EU and India.
Shipments to China increased by 118pc to 584,383t after a flurry of deals into the region were concluded shortly before the NDRC started discussing lifting the informal ban on Australian imports.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and subsequent sanctions imposed on the import of the country’s coal triggered a sharp increase in European buying from the US, as opposed to January of last year. US shipments to the EU increased by 36pc to 1.3mn t in January and were up by 17.5pc compared with the previous month.
A more positive demand outlook from the steel sector boosted shipments to India in January by 23pc to 464,266t. India was one of the only top steel-producing countries to boast production growth in 2022, surpassing Japan to become the third-largest auto market. Vehicle sales rose by 7.9pc on the year to 1.53mn units in January, while production increased by 1.6pc from a year earlier to 1.9mn units, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.
Coking coal exports to Brazil were also up by 20pc in January to 464,266t. But shipments to Japan fell by 26.7pc on the year to 240,528t, weighed down by lacklustre demand from steel-consuming industries such as automakers and the construction sector. Japanese crude steel output fell by 6.9pc in January.
Canadian exports totalled 2.2mn t in January, a 13pc increase from the same month last year. The increase was driven by a 33pc increase in shipments to Japan, which totalled 460,833t. China was sent 605,760t from Canada, a 2pc increase from the same month last year. These increases were offset by a 28pc decrease in coal exports to the US, down to just 59,650t. Shipments to India decreased marginally by 2pc to 158,830t, while shipments to South Korea saw a 15pc decrease to 415,056t.
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- On March 28, 2023