London: India took 1.3 million tonnes or 36% of South Africa’s thermal coal exports in May, little changed from 1.2 million imported in April, exporter sources said on Monday.
India’s percentage share of South Africa’s exports rose from 25% the previous month but this reflected the fall in total exports rather than any significant rise in Indian demand.
South Africa shipped 3.6 million tonnes from Richards Bay Coal Terminal in May, a sharp fall from 4.8 million the previous month , a drop which raises doubts about the country’s ability to increase exports.
China took 330,000 tonnes from South Africa in May, down from 500,000 tonnes in April.
Indian buyers have largely halted spot purchases of South African coal, preferring instead to take cheaper Indonesian and low-grade Australian cargoes .
Shipments being made to both these countries are under existing term contracts not fresh spot buying, exporters said.