China’s imports of Russian coal have rose by 14% in July compared to a year earlier, resulting in the highest level of shipments in the last five years. While the West has largely avoided Russian imports amid the country’s decision to invade Ukraine, China has decided to take advantage of the opportunity to purchase Russia’s discounted coal.
Data released by the General Administration of Customs on Saturday revealed that China had imported 7.42 million tonnes of Russian coal in July, thereby exceeding the 6.49 million tonnes in July 2021.
With the European ban on Russian coal coming into effect on 11 August, Russia has had to shift its focus to markets such as China and India, offering significant discounts in an effort to outprice competitors.
Aside from Russia, China also looked toward Indonesia’s cheap, low-quality thermal coal. The country imported 11.7 million tonnes of Indonesian coal in July, a 22% rise from June albeit a 40% slump from last year.
China has been working to reduce its imports in recent months amid a rise in local output. Still, southern China power plants continue to target Indonesian imports as they remain more affordable than domestic coal.