Above: Glencore is a major coal miner in South Africa.
In the first three quarters of this year, South African coal exports to Europe amounted to 9.6mt (million tonnes), up a staggering 528% year-on-year.
Although India remains South Africa’s main customer, the European Union is now in second place with a 20% share of total output. The rise of South African coal in Europe has come about because of sanctions imposed on Russian coal by politicians in Brussels. Indeed, Russian coal imports in the first three quarters were down 26.3% to 20.5mt.
In terms of coal exporters, South Africa is now the fifth largest globally, behind Indonesia, Australia, Russia, and the US. It exports accounted for 5.4% of all global coal exports in the first three quarters.
Ironically, South Africa’s coal exports to both India (–29.5%) and China (32.1%) have declined as these countries have benefited from cheaper Russian coal. Indeed, Russian coal exports to India are now up around 130% on the year.