Pakistan coal imports dip from 2020 highs

Thermal coal receipts fell by 6.4pc on the year and by 36pc on the month to an eight-month low of 1mn t in January, Federal Board of Revenue data show.

A steep fall in South African arrivals drove the decline, with Richards Bay imports falling by 35.6pc on the year and 28.8pc on the month to 414,000t. This meant that South Africa’s share of the import mix was 40pc, compared with an average of 65.3pc in 2020 and close to 75pc in 2019.

Logistical disruptions in South Africa in January probably contributed to the slowdown in arrivals, with railing and loading rates at Richards Bay Coal Terminal lower than normal in December-January, in part owing to a 10-day spell of rail maintenance.

Arrivals from South Africa should pick up now that the maintenance has ended, while suppliers in Indonesia have faced their own logistical problems owing to heavy rainfall.

Pakistan’s Indonesian imports slipped by 6.1pc on the year to 383,000t in January, while arrivals from Australia jumped from zero to 238,000t.

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