Global seaborne coal trade is currently projected to drop 1% y-o-y in 2015. This would be the first annual decline in almost three decades.
The driving force behind the slump has been a collapse in Chinese seaborne coal imports, which fell 40% year on year in the first five months of the year.
Imports to China accounted for a quarter of growth in the seaborne coal trade in 2012 and 65% in 2013. But china’s import demand has been in steady decline since the beginning of 2104.
The majority of coal in China is sourced domestically, which means that even a small change in coal use can impact heavily on seaborne imports.