Posted: Apr 21, 2022 7:58 am
by Macdoc

Australia’s coal export boom forecast to end abruptly amid big drop in demand from China

Study finds Chinese consumption will fall within two to three years as Australian coalmining communities warned to reduce dependence on industry

Australia’s coal export boom will come to an abrupt end because of an “imminent and substantial” drop in purchases by China, and local coalmining communities should brace for the change, the lead author of a new study says.

The peer-reviewed paper, published on Thursday in the journal Joule, forecasts China’s thermal coal imports will contract at least a quarter from 2019 levels of 210m tonnes by 2025, mostly as improved transport links will give local suppliers an edge.

If China pursues more ambitious efforts to cut carbon emissions, the decline will be almost twice as fast, with imports sinking to 115m tonnes by 2025. Shipments of coking coal used in steelmaking face a similar downward trajectory, the researchers found.

The study used satellite and other data sources to compile a more detailed picture of individual power and steel plant coal demand. It also analysed how new transport links have expanded supplies from inland Chinese provinces and Mongolia to coastal users, supplanting Australian and Indonesian exporters.

“This was actually somewhat of a surprising outcome for us,” said Jorrit Gosens, a researcher at the Australian National University’s Crawford School of Public Policy and the report’s lead author.

“China reducing imports of thermal coal and coking coal by roughly a quarter over the next five years, that’s a major drop and not something that is far off into the future.” ... from-china