German hard coal imports could fall by 16-30% in 2020

Germany’s imports of hard coal from the world market will likely decline by between 16 and 30% in 2020

A freight train leaves a coal power plant after delivering brown coal from the nearby open-cast mining area of Garzweiler to the RWE plant, one of Europe’s biggest electricity company, in Neurath, north-west of Cologne, Germany

Frankfurt - Germany’s imports of hard coal from the world market will likely decline by between 16 and 30% in 2020, importers group VDKi forecast on Thursday, citing lower industry and energy demand due to the coronavirus crisis and competition from renewables.
 
The decline would mark the fifth consecutive year imports have dropped and would be steeper than the 10.2% year-on-year decrease seen in 2019, the group told a press conference.
 
VDKi put the expected total imports in 2020 at between 29.6 million and 35.4 million tonnes, compared with 42.2 million tonnes last year.
 
Germany’s position as Europe’s biggest economy and coal importer means it plays a significant role in global trade flows and price discovery at landing ports.