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Polish Coking Coal Imports Surge Despite Demand Easing

Coal News - Published on Mon, 17 Jun 2019

Image Source: Shipping Herald
Polish shipping agents told Argus that imports of coking coal to Polish ports have continued to rise since mid-May amid tight domestic supply of certain grades, despite regional steel and metallurgical coke output softening this year. Vessels with capacity to carry up to 730,000 tonne of coking coal in total have been discharged at the Polish ports of Gdansk, Gdynia and Swinoujscie since the start of May. The actual import figure since early May, which represents volumes destined for end-users in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, was slightly lower than 730,000t as some of the vessels are likely to have offloaded material in Rotterdam before reaching Poland.

To put this volume in context, data from government agency ARP show Poland imported 3.5 million tonne of coking coal in 2018, up from 2.2mn t in 2016. Overall, imports of coking coal at these key Polish ports in May were at their highest level since March, when they received around 660,000 tonne. The ports of Gdansk and Gdynia receive the most cargoes, with bottlenecks emerging and port storage capacity currently stretched.

At Gdansk, four coking coal vessels capable of carrying up to 465,000t in total have been discharged since early May. Three of these arrived since a one-week maintenance shutdown of the port's coal terminal in mid-May. Three were coming from Australia while the fourth was a 75,000t shipment from Russia.

A source at Gdansk port said increased imports in recent weeks have led to high port stocks, with drawdown slow as regional production of met coke and steel falls. According to some estimates, there is 600,000 tonne of coking coal in Gdansk port waiting to be railed to customers, and outgoing trains are less frequent than usual because large end-users are in no hurry to replenish their inventories.

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Posted By : Sanju Moirangthem on Mon, 17 Jun 2019
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