Global Thermal Coal Strategic Planning Outlook - H1 2023
This year could see peak global demand for thermal coal as China’s economy recovers and coal plant retirements are getting a short reprieve in developed economies - as the world grapples with energy shortages and supply chain issues. Seaborne thermal coal imports are expected to reach over one billion tonnes, with domestic supplies in China and India struggling to keep up with growing demand. However, despite rising demand, the 2023 market is not the same as the one saw in 2022. Seaborne export suppliers have recovered from severe weather disruptions and the shock tradeflow reshuffle after the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Most of the increase in demand in 2023 will be for low calorific value (CV) imports where supply is more easily scalable – vs the high-CV market pinch seen in 2022. This means that we should not expect prices to reach sky-high levels again this year.