In a recent report, shipbroker Banchero Costa said that the global coal trade has now reached pre-Covid levels. In 2023, seaborne coal loadings increased by 5.8% year-on-year to 1.3 billion metric tons (mt) according to tracking data from AXS Marine.

For the first two months of 2024, the trend has continued with global coal loadings increasing 9.3% year-on-year to 213.9 million mt from 195.6 million mt in the same period last year.

Exports from Indonesia increased 17.4% year-on-year to 83.7 million mt, followed by Australia, which were up 16.6% year-on-year to 56.4 million mt. Russia exports declined 18.2% year-on-year to 23.4 million mt in Jan-Feb 2024. Exports from the U.S. increased 1.1% year-on-year to 13.9 million mt. South African exports increased 6% year-on-year to 10.2 million mt.

Shipments from Colombia increased by 19% year-on-year to 9.5 million mt in Jan-Feb 2024. Canada coal exports grew by 3.3% year-on-year to 7.4 million mt. Shipments from Mozambique were down 18.6% year-on-year to 2.8 million mt.

Seaborne coal imports into Mainland China increased by 22.7% year-on-year to 57.9 million mt in Jan-Feb 2024. Imports into India increased 24.9% year-on-year to 39 million mt. Japan coal imports decreased 13.3% year-on-year to 26 million mt in Jan-Feb 2024. Coal imports into South Korea increased 0.7% year-on-year to 20.7 million mt. Finally, EU imports decreased 45.6% year-on-year to 11.1 million mt.