According to Kpler shipping data, China increased its imports of Russian metallurgical coal to a record level. In April, seaborne shipments of Russian coking coal reached 1.37 mio t, up from 0.92 mio t in March and 0.75 mio t in February.
Total supplies of Russian thermal and metallurgical coal to China in April reached 4.37 mio t, twice the level of the previous month.
Chinese traders, who settled financing and lending issues with their banks, boosted purchases of Russian coal amid soaring prices in Australia.
Coal trade between China and Russia came to a standstill in late February, when international banks suspended issuing letters of credit under the threat of Western sanctions.
However, as some Chinese banks eased restrictions on financial assets for certain customers, coal trade with Russia resumed in March, although some obstacles, such as shipping and insurance, remain.
Russian premium coking coal at seaports in northern China traded at an average of 386 USD/t in April, compared to 473 USD/t for Australian coking coal of similar quality.
In 2021, Russian coal exports to China surged to 57 mio t (+17.4 mio t or +44% y-o-y).