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Argus Media: Japan’s metallurgical coal imports fall in January

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World Coal,

Argus Media has reported that Japan's metallurgical coal imports fell in January after three consecutive months of gains as the Japanese economy slowed amid COVID-19 emergency measures, which particularly affected the manufacturing sector.

Japan imported 5.06 million t of metallurgical coal in January, down by 10% from December and by 21% from a year earlier, according to finance ministry data.

Shipments from its largest supplier Australia decreased by 13% from 2.84 million t in December and by 20% from a year earlier to 2.46 million t in January. Japan's second COVID-19 state of emergency, which began in January, has adversely affected domestic crude steel production, with weaker steel demand from the manufacturing sector resulting in lower crude steel output.

The Argus spot price assessment for premium low-volatile hard coking coal averaged US$122.76/t fob Australia in January, up by 20.2% from US$102.17/t in December. Seaborne coking coal prices surged from US$103.65/t fob Australia at the start of the month to close at a peak of US$157/t fob Australia on 29 January 2021.

Japan's metallurgical coke imports fell by 27% from December's record high of 119 412 t to 86 595 t in January. But imports in January increased by 183% from a year earlier. Almost all of Japan's metallurgical coke imports came from China.

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