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Friday, 13 August 21
INDONESIA’S COAL EXPORTS TO JAPAN DECLINED BY -26.3% YOY TO 11.9 MLN TONNES IN THE FIRST 7 MONTHS OF 2021; STILL THE SECOND LARGEST SOURCE FOR JAPAN’S COAL IMPORTS IS INDONESIA - BANCHERO COSTA
coal & excavator2020 proved to be a truly terrible year for global seaborne coal trade. Total global loadings in the 12 months of 2020 were down -12.7% year-on-year to 1130 million tonnes, according to data from Refinitiv, Banchero Costa said in its latest weekly report.
 
According to Banchero Costa, in 2021 things started pretty badly, but we are seeing increasing signs of things returning back to “normal”. In the first 7 months of 2021, global seaborne coal trade increased by +2.5% y-o-y to 681.8 mln tonnes, from  665.1 mln  tonnes in the January-July 2020 period. However, this is still down -10.2% from 759.4 mln tonnes in the same period of 2019. However, the worst was in the first quarter, as 1Q 2021 recorded a -8.2% y-o-y decline to 278.1 mln t. Things have  steadily improved month after month.
 
In the second quarter of 2021, Banchero Costa says, the global coal loadings reached 298.3 mln tonnes, which was +8.7% y-o-y compared to 2Q 2020. Global coal trade has been steadily climbing month after month, and in July 2021 reached 105.4 mln tonnes, which  was  +20.1% up from July 2020, and only -5.1% down from July 2019.
 
Banchero Costa  further noted that, the Japan is the third largest importer of coal in the world, after Mainland China and India. In 2020, Japan was the destination for 15.0% of global seaborne coal shipments.
 
However, imports into Japan have steadily declined over the years, even before Covid, due to limited economic growth and greater reliance on natural gas and renewable energy sources, as well as the restarting of previously shut nuclear power plants.
 
Accordign to Banchero Costa , the Japan’s seaborne coal imports in the 12 months of 2020 declined by -4.0% y-o-y to 166.8 mln tonnes. Let’s keep in mind says Banchero Costa, though that even in 2019 imports into Japan declined by -2.7% y-o-y, and in 2018 they declined by -0.5% y-o-y. When it  comes to last year, the worst was in the third and fourth quarters.
 
In 1Q 2020, Japan imported 45.7 mln tonnes of coal, which was a positive +3.2% y-o-y increase. In 2Q 2020, imports continued at 39.8 mln tonnes, fairly flat at +0.3% y-o-y (2Q has been seasonally weak for a number of years). In 3Q  2020,  imports into Japan stayed at 39.8 mln tonnes, but this was actually down -10.5% y-o-y from the same quarter in 2019. In 4Q 2020,  imports  nudged upwards to 41.5 mln tonnes, but this again was down -8.4% y-o-y, said Banchero Costa.
 
Volumes nudged up again in the first quarter of  2021, with Japan importing 44.6 mln tonnes of  coal, which was a -2.4% y-o-y decline from the levels of 1Q 2020.
 
The report from Banchero Costa  further said, the second quarter of 2021 was very weak, with just 37.9 mln tonnes, down -4.8% y-o-y from the  second quarter of last year. In July 2021 things suddenly improved quite a lot, with 15.6 mln tonnes, which was +26.2% up month-on-month from June 2021, up +9.3% y-o-y from July 2020, and almost identical to the 15.9 mln tonnes recorded in July 2019. Overall in the first 7 months of 2021, Japan imported 98.1 mln tonnes of coal, which was down -1.7% y-o-y from the same period in 2020.
 
According to Banchero Costa, In terms of sources of coal imports to Japan, things changed a lot.
 
Australia, which was already the top coal exporter to Japan, further increased volumes as they had to divert the cargoes that in the past they would have sold to China.
 
Imports to Japan from Australia increased by +9.9% y-o-y to 64.7 mln t in the first 7 months of 2021, from 58.8 mln tonnes in the same period of 2020.
 
Australia  now accounts for 66% of Japan’s coal imports.
 
The  second largest source for Japan’s coal imports is Indonesia, accounting for a 12% share.
 
Shipments from Indonesia to Japan declined by -26.3% y-o-y to 11.9 mln tonnes in the first 7 months of 2021, from 16.2 mln  tonnes in the same period of 2020.


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