Breaking News: Big Changes in China’s Coal Game in 2023!
Guess what? China started buying coal from Australia again in 2023 after stopping for almost two years. But get this, they didn’t buy as much as before because they wanted to compete with cheaper sellers like Mongolia and Russia.
In 2023, China got 52.47 million tons of coal from Australia. That’s a lot more than the 2.86 million tons they got in 2022. But it’s still not as much as the 77.51 million tons they got in 2020, the last year before they stopped buying.
They lifted the ban in January 2023, right after Prime Minister Anthony Albanese got elected. China also agreed to stop charging extra money on Australian barley and said they would check if they still needed to charge extra for Australian wine.
In December 2023, China got 6.71 million tons of coal from Australia. That’s 6.4% more than the 6.31 million tons they got in November.
With more coal coming from Australia, China’s total coal imports went up to a crazy high of 474.42 million tons in 2023. That’s 61.8% more than in 2022. In December alone, they got 47.3 million tons of coal, the most ever!
Indonesia, the country that sells a lot of coal to China, was still the biggest supplier. They sent 220.25 million tons in 2023, which is 29% more than in 2022. Mongolia also sent a lot more coal in 2023, more than double what they sent the year before. Russia sent a whopping 102.13 million tons, which is 50% more than in 2022.
But here’s the thing, importing coal from Russia and Mongolia got a bit more expensive because of new rules. People who buy Russian and Mongolian coal have to pay extra money starting this month.
But, lucky for China, they don’t have to pay extra for Australian and Indonesian coal because of some special agreements.
Experts say this might not change things for China in 2024. Some smart people from Macquarie said that most of China’s coal imports from 2023 might have to pay extra, but the companies in Russia and Mongolia might just handle the extra costs without making things too pricey for China.