London — South Africa's January thermal coal exports totalled 6.16 million mt, slipping 7.2% year on year, despite higher shipments to primary buyer India, according to customs data released late Tuesday.
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The volume also fell 11.4% from December to a four-month low.
India took 3.02 million mt of South African thermal coal during the month, 50% higher on the year and up 4% from December.
On the other hand, shipments to the whole of Europe in January plunged 69% on the year to 571,575 mt, also 27% lower than the previous month and the lowest volume since June 2015.
Included in the total volume shipped to Europe was 341,750 mt of thermal coal sent to Italy and 150,000 mt exported to the Netherlands, dropping 68% on the year.
The third largest buyer in January was Turkey at 498,776 mt, down 26% from a year earlier, but 19% higher than December and at a 10-month high.
Shipments to Pakistan at 281,874 mt were more than five times higher than the 54,946 mt exported there a year earlier. The volume was also 10% higher than December.
Sri Lanka and Egypt were also amongst the top takers of South African coal in January, with 340,692 mt and 300,813 mt exported to these countries, respectively.
Platts 7-45 day price assessment rose $3.05 from the beginning of the month to $53.30/mt FOB on January 29 due to higher bids from large players and tighter availability of 6,000 kcal/kg NAR material, sources said.
--Jacqueline Holman, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Edited by Jonathan Dart, email@example.com