Around 70 per cent of China’s energy is generated by coal, but in recent years China has worked intensely towards implementing more renewable energy sources i.e. hydropower. This has brought a decline in the demand for coal used in power generation. If the trend continues 2015 it could end up being the second consecutive year with a decline in the total world seaborne coal trade.
Longer-haul coal trade from South Africa has disappeared
Just as with the coking coal, Australia is one of the big suppliers of steam coal. Together with Indonesia they account for 87 per cent of the steam coal going into China. With diminishing demand from China the share from these countries has gone up, pushing out the smaller nations.
South Africa for one is a great example. Despite the longer route compared to Australia and Indonesia, South Africa supplied more than 8 per cent of the China's steam coal in 2013. By the end of 2014 that share had been more than halved and by 2015 the shipments had stopped all together. As of right now it has been over a year since a shipment of steam coal heading for China, left South Africa. China’s coal trade with South Africa is beneficial to seaborne trade as the sailing distance is twice as long as from the main suppliers Australia and Indonesia.
“The eventual implementation of the free trade agreement between China and Australia will eliminate the tariffs currently imposed on Chinese coal imports. An increased coal trade between China and Australia will benefit seaborne trade as current alternative sources are closer to China and thus involves less transportation by sea.
Access BIMCO's COVID-19 related articles and advice.
Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS) publish regular Bunker Alerts based entirely on fuel samples and have kindly permitted BIMCO’s Members to access this information.
The Bunker Alerts are not intended to be an evaluation of overall bunker quality in the port or area concerned, but usually highlight a specific parameter within the fuel which has raised a quality issue.
For general guidance and information on cargo-related queries.
Want to buy or download a BIMCO publication? Use the link to get access to the ballast water management guide, the ship master’s security manual and many other publications.