June 10, 2019 - Canada exported 2.12mn t of coking coal in April, down by 18pc on the year, in the absence of shipments to key European destinations, data from Statistics Canada show.
There were no coking coal shipments from Canada to the Netherlands, the UK and Germany in April, partly reflecting multiple headwinds facing western Europe's steel industry. But Canada does not necessarily export to these destinations every month, as European mills cover a significant amount of their requirements with U.S. and Australian coking coal supplies.
Continuing rail delays at the Port of Vancouver as operators struggled with record volumes and persistent congestion are likely to have contributed to the dip in exports. Late last year, some carriers were forced to halt rail movements.
But strong demand in Asia-Pacific, led by China, India and South Korea, supported overall Canadian export volumes in April.
Canada shipped 521,044t of coking coal to China in April, nearly double compared with the same month last year. Despite the higher shipping costs, Canada is an attractive source of coking coal supplies for Chinese buyers looking to diversify their supply sources amid delays to customs clearances and cargo discharge for Australian supplies and trade tensions between the US and China. Shipments to India were up by 35.2pc on the year to 561,076t amid healthy demand from mills. Shipments to South Korea remained significant at 424,910t but were down by 39.9pc on the year.
Exports of coking coal from Canada in January-April totalled 10.23mn t, relatively unchanged compared with the 10.26mn t shipped in the same period last year.