Hanoi — Vietnam imported 548,664 mt of coal in May, up 65% year on year and 51% higher month on month, Vietnam Customs data showed.
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The May imports were worth $46 million, up 18% year on year and 53% higher than April.
Traditionally a coal exporter, Vietnam has turned to imports to meet rising domestic demand, particularly from the power sector.
In May, Vietnam mainly imported coal from Indonesia (225,481 mt, up 62.3% year on year), China (74,477 mt, up 49.5%) and Australia (110,452 mt, up 101%).
From January-May, Vietnam imported 1.86 million mt of coal, up 42% year on year, and whose value was up 8.6% at $170 million.
That coal came from Indonesia (811,432 mt, up 20% year on year), Australia (418,643 mt, up 97%) and and China (203,818 mt, up 14%).
Vietnam produced 3.67 million mt of coal in May, up 0.8% year on year and meaning the total for the first five months of the year was up 4.5% to 17.58 million mt, the Ministry of Industry and Trade said earlier this month.
The country, which mainly produces and exports thermal coal, exported 155,065 mt of coal in May, down 71% year on year and 38 lower than April.
The May exports were worth $15 million, 60.5% lower year on year and down 37% from April .
The May exports were to Japan (57,750 mt, down 9.1% year on year), South Korea (42,260 mt, down 43%) and the Philippines (22,200 mt, down 7.9%).
China, traditionally the biggest buyer of Vietnam's coal, did not import any in the first five months of the year, according to the data.
From January-May, Vietnam exported 898,365 mt of coal, down 77% year on year. The export value was $96 million, down 67%.
The exports were to Japan (227,361 mt, down 56% year on year), South Korea (169,225 mt, down 64%) and Indonesia (113,000 mt, up 428%).