June 12, 2019 - Vietnam imported 3.86 million mt of coal in May, comprising mainly thermal coal and coking coal, surging 57.1% from the same month in 2018, according to preliminary data released by Vietnam Customs on Tuesday.
The import value in the month was $380 million, up 51.4% year on year.
Indonesia was the biggest supplier of coal in the month with 1.39 million mt, up 8.2% year on year, followed by Australia, Russia and China.
Between January and May, Vietnam imported 17.20 million mt of coal, rising 103.8% from a year earlier, mostly from Indonesia, Australia and Russia. The import value in the period were worth $1.65 billion, up 66.5% from 2018.
Meanwhile, Vietnam exported 167,259 mt of coal, mostly anthracite coal, in May, down 39.2% year on year, mostly to Japan, Thailand and South Korea.
In the first five months, Vietnam exported 198,833 mt of coal, falling 80.25% year on year, largely to Japan, Thailand and South Korea. The export value in the period was $29.6 million, down 77.8% year on year.
The massive imports together with sharp declines in exports came as the state utility Vietnam Electricity or EVN said June 7 it will continue to buy as much as possible electricity from coal-fired power plants to feed rising electricity demand in the country.
Most of the country's coal production is used domestically by the power, cement and other industrial sectors.