China’s National Bureau of Statistics said the country’s coking coal imports from Russia soared to 1.4 million tons in March, compared to 590,000 tons for the same month last year and 1.1 million tons in February. Overall, the nation more than doubled purchases of Russian steel-making coal, procuring the fuel at a discount.
Imports of thermal coal, used for power generation, declined as mild weather curbed demand, with Beijing boosting domestic output.
Data shows that China is Russia’s largest coal buyer, taking in more than 50 million tons of the commodity worth $7.4 billion last year via rail and sea from Russia’s Far East. Russia accounted for roughly 15% of China’s total imports and was its second-largest supplier behind Indonesia.