By Dylan Wong
September 3, 2020 - Japan's coking coal imports rose in July on the back of a recovery in steel output, mainly from auto manufacturing demand.
Japan imported 4.95mn t of coking coal in July, up by 6pc from June but down by 30pc from a year earlier, according to finance ministry data. January-July imports fell by 6pc from the previous year to 37.5mn t.
Shipments from the largest supplier Australia increased by 22pc to 2.29mn t in July from 1.87mn t in June but fell by 41pc from a year earlier. Japan's crude steel output in July recovered from June as domestic steel mills began restoring output levels with recovering manufacturing demand, particularly from the auto sector. Japanese car output extended its recovery in July against April-May, driven by an increase in domestic and foreign car sales.
The Argus spot price assessment for premium low-volatile hard coking coal averaged $112.68/t fob Australia in July, up by 1pc from $111.63/t in June.
Japan's metallurgical coke imports fell by 28pc to 14,857t in July from 20,493t in June and fell by 89pc from a year earlier. Almost all of Japan's met coke imports came from China.