11 Impacts of seaborne trade on coal importing countries global summary Global

11 impacts of seaborne trade on coal importing

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11 Impacts of seaborne trade on coal importing countries – global summary Global steam coal trends
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4 The increasing role of international trade 12 IEA CLEAN COAL CENTRE Over the years, the international trade in coal has been studied in a variety of reports, some of the most concise being the IEA Evolution of Coal Markets (1997), and more recently the World Market for Hard Coal by the German Importers Association, Verein der Kohlenimporteure Annual Report 2010 (VdK, 2010). Much of the following section has been drawn from these reports, but adapted to reflect some of the major upheavals that have occurred since the publication of these documents. When looking at the actual volumes and methods of trade, more than 90% of the 1000 Mt of global hard coal exports is by sea, although this balance could shift slightly as China expands imports from Mongolia by rail. In terms of steam coal, Figure 4 illustrates the evolution of the world export market since 1960. The key developments over the period include a rise from 146 Mt in 1971 to 707 Mt in 2009. During this time, the profile of exporters changed vastly. In the 1970s, almost all trade occurred in the Atlantic market with the USA, Germany and Poland as the chief exporters. By 2007, the world coal market more-or-less settled into its current form (as of 2012). Exports from producers in the Pacific market in (Australia, Indonesia, China, and Vietnam) accounted for some 65% of the global exports in hard coal. The rest is accounted for by Atlantic producers. One of the chief reasons for the rise in internationally-traded coal remains the fundamental price advantage that seaborne-traded coal has over almost all other energy supplies, with little or no other Poland Germany USA 0 20 10 30 50 60 70 80 90 100 40 World steam exports, % 1971 1980 1990 2000 2009 146 Mt 101 Mt 288 Mt 425 Mt 707 Mt China Kazakhstan Vietnam South Africa Colombia Russia Australia Indonesia Figure 4 World steam coal exports, % share by exporting country (IEA, 2011)
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detriment to coal quality and often an improvement on the quality of domestic coals. The subject of coal pricing is discussed later. Coal exports have also been driven by the world’s need to improve the security of supply of primary fuels. Coal users are no longer tied to domestic producers in the way they used to be. If the transport logistics are in place, arbitrage between domestic and imported coal enhances flexibility and security of both supplies and pricing. There are exceptions, such as minemouth power stations that are tied to specific producers and coal qualities that may become prone to operational disruption if the local coal supply stops for any reason. Imported coal can be obtained by a variety of means; for some countries it is possible to send the coal overland by rail, but a majority of the world’s internationally-traded coal is transported by ocean vessels over long distances. According to Euracoal (2008), European cross-border trade in hard coal exceeded 900 Mt, of which 820 Mt was seaborne trade. In terms of seaborne trade, steam coal was 13 Impacts of seaborne trade on coal importing countries – global summary
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