Nov. 24 (Bloomberg) -- South Korea is sourcing more coking coal from North America than Australia for the first time in 20 years, SSY Consultancy & Research Ltd., said.
North American exports of the coal, used in steelmaking, to South Korea are forecast to reach 11.9 million metric tons this year, the London-based division of global shipbroker Simpson, Spence & Young said by e-mail today. That’s higher than Australian exports, forecast at 11.5 million, and the first time since 1991 that Australia’s coking coal shipments to South Korea are lower than North America’s, SSY said.
South Korean crude steel output has seen the highest annual increase of any country except China in the first 10 months of 2011, driving a 15.4 percent increase in coking coal imports to more than 26 million tons this year, SSY forecast.
Steelmakers compensated for weather-related disruptions that curbed coking coal exports from Australia by shipping more from North America, SSY said.
Along with imports of steaming coal, used in power generation, ton mile demand for dry-bulk vessels that ship the commodities, has risen 16 percent, according to SSY. Ton mile demand calculates the volumes shipped at sea by the distance travelled.
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