Australia’s thermal coal exports are forecast to grow 0.7%/year through to fiscal 2021-2022 (July-June)on demand from India and the ASEAN towards the end of the period, according to the government’s Resources and Energy Quarterly.
Exports totaled 201.3 million mt in fiscal 2015-2016, and are estimated at 202.2 million mt for fiscal 2016-2017. They are forecast to gradually increase to 209.4 million mt by fiscal 2021-2022.
India’s imports of Australian thermal coal are expected to fall from an estimated 166 million mt in calendar 2016 to 161 million mt in 2017, and to 157 million mt in 2019 before rising to 175 million mt by 2022.
Increased production by state-owned Coal India Ltd. is a reason for the decline in imports, the report said. But that is expected to grow later due to new advanced coal-fired power plants that will require higher calorific material, which isn’t available domestically.
Indonesian exports and Chinese imports, meanwhile, each saw growth in 2016, but are both forecast to fall through to 2022, the report said.
Indonesia’s exports rose in 2016 because previously unprofitable mines due to lower thermal coal prices hiked their output and exports to take advantage of rising prices.
But, the country’s thermal coal exports are forecast to decline at an average rate of 1% per year from 379 million mt in 2016 to 357 million mt in 2022, which would be similar to its 2011 export levels.
Exports are expected to remain steady over the first half of the outlook period as Indonesia’s key customers India and South Korea still use lower calorific content coal.
China’s domestic production cutbacks last year boosted its imports but the move to a less restrictive supply policy is likely to see a decline in imports, the report said.
China is estimated to have imported 180 million mt of thermal coal in 2016.
This is forecast to fall to 171 million mt in 2017, 157 million mt in 2018 and 2019, and then recover slightly to 162 million mt by 2022, it added.