Demand to head south?


World coal trade reached a staggering 1,466m tonnes in 2023, within this total it is estimated that Chinese imports hit a record level of 474.5m tonnes in 2023 - representing a growth of around 62 per cent and ranking as the highest coal import total recorded since 2013.

Indonesia, Australia and Russia are the largest suppliers of coal to the Chinese markets, primarily comprising steam coal for power generation. 

The outlook for 2024 is highly uncertain with constrained economic growth and a recovery in the nation’s hydro-electric output resulting in an anticipated overall decline and a steeper economic contraction could see volumes fall much more rapidly.

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