German coal imports down in 1999

German coal imports fell last year, but are expected to double over the next two decades as demand increases.

Staff Reporter

A report by the Federation of German Coal Importers predicts Germany's coal imports are likely to double over the next 20 years as nuclear power is phased out and domestic German coal production declines.


The figure is expected to be somewhere between the 59.9 million tonnes predicted by the Prognos AG forecasting company and the 67.1Mt predicted by an Esso AG study.


Lower demand for coking coal by the German steel industry saw a 2% drop in German coal imports in 1999 to 30.1Mt, compared with 30.7Mt in 1998 and 24.7Mt the previous year.


A strong US dollar impacted on the quantity of US coal purchased by Europe. In 1999, Germany imported only about 956,000t of coal and coke from the United States, a substantial drop from the 1.5Mt of US coal imported in 1998.


Germany's hard-coal imports came from Poland, South Africa, Colombia and Australia, but major quantities of coal were also imported from the United States, Canada and the Czech Republic.


In related news, major Polish mining group Weglokoks said it exported a total of 10Mt of coal in the first six months of 2000. Of the 7.6Mt of steam coal sold, Germany took 2.5Mt.


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