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South African 2015 thermal coal exports up 1.3% year on year to 75.4 mil mt

London — South Africa exported 6.95 million mt of thermal coal in December, meaning the total volume for 2015 was up 1.3% to a record 75.39 million mt, customs data showed Monday.

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That was in-line with the Richards Bay Coal Terminal's (RBCT) annual export volume of 75.4 million mt, reported mid-January.

The December volume 6.2% below the same month in 2014, but up 0.6% from November, the data showed.

* Shipments to India, the biggest customer, rise 15.4%
* Exports to Europe total 10.4 million mt



The largest taker of South African thermal coal during the year was India at 35.14 million mt, up 15.4% and accounting for 46.6% of the total volume.

During December, India received 2.89 mt of thermal coal, up 3% year on the year and falling 11% month on month.

South Africa exported 10.4 million mt of thermal coal to Europe last year, including 2.64 million mt to the Netherlands and 2.2 million mt to Spain, down 72.7% and 25.2% year on year, respectively.

In December, Europe received 788,078 mt of South African material, dropping 57.5% year on year, but 5.7% higher than the previous month. The Netherlands bought no thermal coal in December, while Spain was sent 76,018 mt, down 82% year on year and up from zero in November.

Turkey took 4.38 million mt last year, climbing 22.3% from 2014. During December, it bought 417,846 mt of South African thermal coal, down 35% compared with year earlier, but up 11% on the month.

Exports to Pakistan in 2015 jumped 10.5% to 3.72 million mt, with December volumes up 61% from December 2014 to 256,997 mt, which was down 21% on the month.

South African exported 2.56 million mt of material to Israel during the year, up 2.2% year on year. Israel bought 334,376 mt of the thermal coal in December, unchanged on the year and 1% lower than November's volume.

The United Arab Emirates imports in 2015 fell 28.8% to 1.62 million mt. During December, 155,000 mt was received by the country, steady on the month, but 43% lower than a year ago.

The Platts 7-45 day FOB Richards Bay 6,000 kcal/kg NAR spot price was assessed at $50/mt on December 31, falling $13.40, or 21.1%, from the start of the year.

--Jacqueline Holman, jacqueline.holman@platts.com
--Edited by Dan Lalor, daniel.lalor@platts.com