According to the Financial Times, China has reportedly begun to unload a small number of Australian coal shipments to alleviate the ongoing energy shortage, with energy research company Kpler stating that last month saw five vessels discharging 383k tonnes of Australian thermal coal at Chinese ports. The development comes despite the unofficial import ban, which has seen Australian coal exports to China plummet.
In our view, low stockpiles ahead of the winter months in several Asian countries combined with high energy prices should entail firm coal demand near-term. Furthermore, we view China’s acceptance of Australian coal cargoes as a positive, given that it points to the lengths for which the country will go to secure the upcoming winter months’ energy supply.