South Africa exported 5.7 million mt of thermal coal during April, slipping 5.5% on the month to a 10-month low, due to lower shipments to most destinations, besides India, according to customs data Wednesday.

However, the volume climbed 4.4% on the year. India remained the biggest buyer of South African thermal coal, with a six-month high of 2.9 million mt shipped to the country during April, which was 4% higher than March, but 5% down from April 2014.

There was also a marginal increase in exports to Israel at 175,850 mt, up 5% on the month, while 50,000 mt was shipped to the US, compared to nothing in March.These were, however, 65% and 5% lower year on year, respectively.

Meanwhile, South African thermal coal exports to Europe fell 19.4% from March to a two-month low of 498,606 mt in April, although the total was 15.3% higher on the year.

The exports were split between Germany at 75,000 mt, Spain at 152,500 mt and Italy at 271,106 mt, with none exported to any other European destination, including the Netherlands and the UK.

Shipments to Turkey fell 51% on the month to 295,000 mt, but were up from nothing in April 2014.April exports to Pakistan dropped 44% from March to 314,994 mt and were 5% lower on the year.
The United Arab Emirates also took 52% less South African thermal coal in April at 101,100 mt, which fell 35% from the same month in 2014.

No South African thermal coal material was shipped to China for the eighth consecutive month, with nothing exported to South Korea either.

Spot FOB Richards Bay 6,000 kcal/kg NAR coal prices rose during April, with prices gaining $3.50 from the beginning of the month to $62.95/mt FOB on April 30.

Source: Platts