Oith the return of coal as a major energy source, it is worth examining the situation of the major coal exporters and the maritime coal market in general. In its latest weekly report, shipping broker Banchero Costa said that “after a disastrous 2020, with the world hit by lockdowns and recession just about everywhere, global shipping coal trade has managed to rebound to some extent. measure in 2021. In the full 12 months of 2021, global maritime coal exports increased by +4.4% year-on-year to 1,147 million tonnes, compared to 1,099 million tonnes in 2020, according to tracking data. Refinitiv ships. This was still well below the levels we had in the pre-Covid era, i.e. -10.1% compared to the 1,276 million tonnes shipped in 2019. At the start of 2022, however, global coal trade has again decreased.
According to the shipbroker, “During the period January-April 2022, global shipping coal loadings decreased by -4.0% year-on-year to 351.6 million tonnes, compared to 366.3 million tonnes in Most of the decline took place in January, which was particularly disappointing at just 76.7 million tonnes, down -17.6% year-on-year compared to January 2021, and was due to Indonesia’s export restrictions.In recent months, shipments from Indonesia have recovered strongly, while Russian exports have been partially reduced by sanctions Overall, from January to April 2022, shipments from Indonesia decreased by -8.0% year-on-year to 96.6 million tonnes. April 2022 decreased by -10.2% year-on-year to reach 49.6 million tons”.
“Australia is still the world’s largest coal exporter, accounting for 31.9% of global coal exports by sea this year, ahead of Indonesia’s 27.5% share. The main export terminals of coal in Australia are Newcastle (158.0 million tons loaded in January-December 2021), Hay Point (94.3 million), Gladstone (64.8 million), Abbot Point (28.7 million) and Port Kembla (7 .4 million) Coal shipments from Australia have been significantly affected in recent years by the country being relisted by mainland China, previously Australia’s largest customer. Australians have been relatively successful in finding new markets limiting the impact on overall volumes.In the 12 months of 2020, Australian coal exports fell sharply by -7.8% year-on-year to 357.7 million tonnes, compared to 388.0 million tonnes in 2019 “said the ship broker.
“However, this was very much in line with the overall Covid-influenced collapse of the global coal market in a year when Indonesian exports fell -19.7% YoY. In 2021, Australia failed to make progress, with exports roughly flat at 2020 levels, although shipments from other rival exporters rebounded strongly. In the 12 months of 2021, shipments from Australia were up only +0.1% year-on-year to 358.2 mln tonnes. For comparison, 2021 saw a +3.5% YoY increase in Indonesian exports, a +9.6% YoY increase in volumes from Russia and a +11 jump, 6% YoY from Colombia. The first part of 2022 was again negative, with volumes from Australia down -2.7% YoY in the first 4 months to 112.2 million tonnes. However, it still looks positive considering the already mentioned difficulties reported by Indonesia and Russia,” said Banchero Costa.
The shipbroker concluded that “the big winners of the last 18 months in the coal sector appear to be exporters from the Americas: the United States, Canada and Colombia. There have been some pretty remarkable shifts in terms of trading patterns over the past few years. Australia’s coal exports to mainland China fell -98.7% year-on-year from January to December 2021, to just 0.9m tonnes, from 70.4m tonnes in 2020. is pretty much the reverse that happened in India. In 2021, Australia exported 68.6 million tonnes of coal to India, up +45.1% YoY from 47.3 million in 2020. Similar growth was also seen in Korea from South. Australia exported 62.3 million tonnes of coal to Korea in 2021, up +34.6% year-on-year compared to 46.3 million tonnes in 2020. The first destination, however, remains Japan, with 115 .0 mln tonnes in 2021, up +14.6% year-on-year. Japan is now the destination. for 32.1% of Australia’s coal exports, with India 19.2%, Korea 17.4%, Taiwan 9.8% and the EU 4.3%”.
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide