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Global Coal Roundup: China buying more US met coal; UK to stop foreign coal aid

Asia

China: China vowed to import more metallurgical coal from the U.S. in the next two years under a phase-one trade deal recently signed by the two countries, S&P Global Platts reported. The Asian producer seeks to increase imports of U.S. energy sources including metallurgical coal by $18.5 billion this year and $33.9 billion in 2021, according to the report.

* Ports in northern and eastern China implemented tightened custom declarations for coal imports as of Jan. 17, signaling the possibility of stricter import regulations among local trading companies this year, S&P Global Platts reported, citing market sources.

India: For the first time in over two years, India's thermal coal imports fell for the third straight month in October 2019, as a sluggish economy pulled down demand from key sectors, Reuters reported, citing data from the country's coal ministry. India imported 15.62 million tonnes of thermal coal during the month, a 10.7% decrease for the period but 12.6% higher year over year for the first 10 months of the year, the report said.

Indonesia: Prices of seaborne thermal coal may rise as heavy rain delays ships refueling in Kalimantan, Indonesia, S&P Global Platts reported, citing market sources. The heavy rain caused difficulties for January-loading shipments in the south and east of the province, according to the report. Prices are expected to increase due to more inquiries and tight supply, according to an anonymous Singapore-based trader, while Chinese consumers were doubtful about a price increase, S&P Global Platts said.

Europe

* To support the European Union's 2050 carbon neutrality goal, the European Commission could provide compensation to coal plant operators for early closures, and to manufacturers for the decarbonization of operations, S&P Global Platts reported. Compensation to coal plant operators would be based on expected losses, with member governments to structure the compensation to minimize negative impacts on the market, according to the report.

United Kingdom: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the U.K. will cut assistance for coal mining and power plants overseas, including financial aid, loan guarantees and support from the country's export credit agency, Climate Home News reported. Johnson also committed the U.K. to supporting a transition to "lower and zero carbon alternatives" in Africa, the report said.

Middle East

Egypt: Egypt's thermal coal imports rose 31% year on year to 6.32 million tonnes in 2019, due in part to higher demand from the country's cement industry, S&P Global Platts reported, citing port data. Port officials confirmed that most of the coal shipments were from the U.S., according to the report.

S&P Global Platts and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.

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