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South African Jan thermal coal exports hit 18-month low of 4.87 mil mt

London — The volume of South African thermal coal exports in January totaled 4.87 million mt, a drop of 37% month on month and down 21% year on year, making it the lowest monthly volume since July 2017, according to customs data released late Thursday.

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India remained the largest receiver of South African coal in January with a volume of 1.49 million mt. However, that volume was down 55% month on month and 45% year on year, making this the lowest export volume to India since January 2017.

The South African export market struggled with depressed demand from India at the start of the year, which led to a narrowing of lower-CV discounts to the FOB Richards Bay 6,000 kcal/kg NAR price.

The average S&P Global Platts FOB Richards Bay 5,500 kcal/kg NAR, 7-45 day price in January was $65.36/mt, a drop of $1.60 from December.

Exports to Pakistan in January totaled 850,116 mt, down 28% month on month but an increase of 83% year on year.

South Korea was the third-largest export destination for South African coal in January, at 370,075 mt. This was a rise of 19% month on month but down 50% year on year.

-- Piers De Wilde, piers.de.wilde@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Jonathan Fox, newsdesk@spglobal.com

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