German hard coal imports set at 38-39 million T – industrial group VDKi

VDKi’s latest annual estimate for Germany – Europe’s largest coal importer – would represent an increase of 6-7 million, or 16-18%, over last year’s volume.

Coal combustion for electricity grew 35% year-on-year in the first three quarters of 2021 and reached a total of 8.6% of the electricity mix, VDKi noted in a statement, without providing totals for the period.

Coal’s rival for power generation, gas, is also expensive, making the use of coal still attractive despite the high prices of carbon emission allowances, he said.

Commenting on the coal traded globally, VDKi said China remains a dominant factor on the demand side.

European import markets in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp range of ports were receiving more coal from South Africa after a long absence from that origin, he said.

An increase in imports in 2021, if materialized, would break a five-year pattern of consecutive annual declines, but the general trend to exclude coal from power generation in Germany remains stable.

Carbon-free wind and solar power, when available, is given priority on distribution grids as part of Germany’s climate protection efforts and the new government is committed to putting in place plans to long term exit.

(Report by Vera Eckert, edited by Jonathan Oatis)

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