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Vietnam's May coal imports rise 57% on year to 3.86 mil mt

Highlights

Imports from all major markets increase year on year in May

Year-on year exports in the month continued to fall

Hanoi — Vietnam imported 3.86 million mt of coal in May, comprising mainly thermal coal and coking coal, surging 57.1% from the same month in 2018, according to preliminary data released by Vietnam Customs on Tuesday.

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The import value in the month was $380 million, up 51.4% year on year.

Indonesia was the biggest supplier of coal in the month with 1.39 million mt, up 8.2% year on year, followed by Australia, Russia and China.

Between January and May, Vietnam imported 17.20 million mt of coal, rising 103.8% from a year earlier, mostly from Indonesia, Australia and Russia. The import value in the period were worth $1.65 billion, up 66.5% from 2018.

Meanwhile, Vietnam exported 167,259 mt of coal, mostly anthracite coal, in May, down 39.2% year on year, mostly to Japan, Thailand and South Korea.

In the first five months, Vietnam exported 198,833 mt of coal, falling 80.25% year on year, largely to Japan, Thailand and South Korea. The export value in the period was $29.6 million, down 77.8% year on year.

The massive imports together with sharp declines in exports came as the state utility Vietnam Electricity or EVN said June 7 it will continue to buy as much as possible electricity from coal-fired power plants to feed rising electricity demand in the country.

Most of the country's coal production is used domestically by the power, cement and other industrial sectors.

-- Newsdesk-Vietnam, newsdesk@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Debiprasad Nayak, newsdesk@spglobal.com