COLUMN-Shut out of China, U.S. coal exporters find favour in India, for now – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – November 20, 2018)

LAUNCESTON, Australia, Nov 20 (Reuters) – U.S. coal exporters have effectively lost a promising market in China since the imposition of tariffs as part of the ongoing trade dispute, but so far they have managed to find other buyers in Asia, chiefly India.

China imposed a 25 percent tariff on imports of U.S. coal in August as part of its retaliation against tariffs on its exports implemented by the administration of President Donald Trump.

Vessel-tracking and port data compiled by Refinitiv show that no coal from the United States was discharged in China in October, while two cargoes totalling 212,000 tonnes are being unloaded this month.

However, both the cargoes being unloaded in November left the United States before the tariffs took effect on Aug. 23. While China isn’t the most important Asian buyer for U.S. coal, it had been growing in importance until this year.

In the first 10 months of 2018, China imported 3.2 million tonnes of U.S. coal, which was down from 5.1 million for the same period last year. Much of the coal China buys from the United States is higher value coking coal, used in steel making, and it usually is at least double the price of thermal coal, used for power generation.

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