China bought discounted coal while Western nations avoided Russian cargoes due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, causing China’s coal imports from Russia to increase by 14% in July from a year earlier to their highest level in at least five years, Reuters reported.
According to information released on Saturday by the General Administration of Customs, China imported 7.42 million tonnes of coal from Russia last month. Since comparable numbers were first collected in 2017, that number has increased from 6.12 million tonnes in June to 6.49 million tonnes in July of the following year.
Russia is now compelled to sell at a significant discount to customers in China and India as a result of the sanctions.
Some Chinese merchants predict that as utilities in northern China stockpile coal for the winter heating season, more Russian coal will enter China in the fourth quarter.
July shipments of Indonesian coal, mostly cheap, low-quality thermal coal with a heating value below 3,800 kcal, were 11.7 million tonnes. That was up 22% from June but down 40% from a year earlier. China has reduced its overall coal imports in recent months amid surging domestic output.
Some Chinese traders expect more Russian coal to flow into China in the fourth quarter when utilities in northern China build stocks for the winter heating season.
In recent months, China has cut its overall imports of coal due to rising domestic production.
According to Chinese customs records, there was no coal transport from Australia in July.