With shipments of Australian coal to China starting again after a two-year de-facto import ban, this article focuses on the trends and outlook relating to international coal flows. Japan, China, India and South Korea collectively account for over half of worldwide coal imports, while Australia, Indonesia, the Russian Federation and the United States account for three quarters of worldwide coal exports. In the last two years Australia has largely been able compensate for the loss of the Chinese market, which accounted for 26% of total coal exports in 2019. Changes in demand and production patterns are likely to affect overall flows as well as market shares between countries.
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