Seaborne Coal Exports Rebound Globally Reversing Negative Trend
According to the shipbroker “Canada is the seventh largest exporter of coal in the world. In 2022, Canada accounted for 3.8% of global seaborne coal shipments. Canada’s seaborne coal exports in the 12 months of 2022 declined by -7.6% y-o-y to 41.3 mln tonnes. This followed an equally strong decline of -5.7% y-o-y in 2021, and a -18.8% y-o-y decline in 2020. In the first 4 months of 2023, coal exports from Canada rebounded by +6.3% y-o-y to 15.9 mln tonnes, which was the highest for this part of the year since the 16.1 mln tonnes in Jan-Apr 2020. Nearly half of the coal produced in Canada is thermal and half is metallurgical”.
“Canada’s exports are primarily metallurgical coal. Alberta and British Columbia produced 85% of Canada’s coal. Canada exports about half of its coal production. Given the location of its mining resources, the overwhelming majority of Canadian coal exports are shipped from ports in British Columbia, on the Pacific coast. Of the 41.3 mln tonnes shipped in calendar 2022, 54.2% (22.4 mln tonnes) were shipped from Roberts Bank, 27.8% (11.5 mln tonnes) from Vancouver, and 17.9% (7.4 mln tonnes) from Prince Rupert. The vast majority of Canada’s coal exports go to Asia, which is still a significant consumer. In 2022, as much as 32.9% of Canada’s seaborne coal exports were shipped to Japan. In Jan-Dec 2022, coal exports to Japan from Canada remained flat with a +0.2% y-o-y growth at 13.6 mln tonnes. The second largest destination for Canadian coal is South Korea, accounting for 25.4% of Canada’s exports in 2022.
In 2022, exports from Canada to South Korea declined by -9.8% y-o-y to 10.5 mln tonnes. In third place is Mainland China which accounted for a 18.0% share in 2022. In 2022, shipments from Canada to China declined by -17.4% y-o-y to 7.4 mln tonnes, although this represents a correction from a +53.3% y-o-y increase recorded in 2021. The volume seen last year was still significantly above anything seen up until 2021. In fourth place was the European Union, with a 7.2% share of Canada’s coal exports. In 2022, 3.0 mln tonnes of coal were exported from Canada to the EU, down -3.7% y-o-y. In fifth place was India, with a 6.1% share of Canada’s coal exports. In 2022, India imported 2.5 mln t from Canada, up +24.4% y-o-y from just 2.0 mln t in 2021. However this was still significantly below the 3.9 mln tonnes shipped to India in 2020 and the 5.7 mln tonnes shipped in 2019”, Banchero Costa concluded.
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide