Japan's coking coal imports reached a six-month high in March.
Japan imported 5.66mn t of coking coal in March, up by 29pc from February and by 7pc compared with the same period a year earlier, according to data from Japan's finance ministry.
Shipments from its largest supplier Australia increased by 5pc from the previous month to 2.73mn t but fell by 5pc from 2.88mn t in March 2021.
Imports from Russia increased by 34pc to 463,991t from a month earlier and rose by 74pc from 266,556t compared with the previous year, an increase driven primarily from existing term tonnages. Japan imported 3.7mnt of Russian coking coal in 2021, although Tokyo has announced a gradual phasing out of Russian coal imports as part of the G7 countries' sanctions against Russia.
Indonesian imports to Japan were the second highest at 969,013t, increasing by 38pc from a month earlier but falling by 24pc from 1.28mn t a year earlier. Shipments from Canada increased fourfold from the previous month to 681,926t in March. Canadian imports almost doubled from 342,991t a year earlier. Arrivals from the US saw a 76pc increase to 715,008t in March and also by 35pc from a year earlier.
Japan's steel production in March remained stable despite a persistent shortage of auto components and an uncertain recovery outlook. But Japan's largest car manufacturer Toyota has maintained its global car output for May at 750,000 units.
The Argus spot price assessment for premium low-volatile hard coking coal averaged $591.53/t fob Australia in March, up by 33pc from an average of $444.07/t in February and increasing almost sevenfold from a year earlier.
Japan's metallurgical coke imports saw a slight increase from 113,053t in February to 112,776t in March but fell by 49pc compared with a year earlier. Japan's metallurgical coke imports arrived primarily from China, with March imports increasing by 18pc to 106,272t against the previous month. (argusmedia)
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