The Ministry of Industry and Trade has attempted to explain why the country has imported coal despite a large inventory.
Statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Trade show that Vietnam imported 14.5 million tonnes of coal for USD1.52bn in 2017, an increase of 9.8% and 58.4% on previous year. Meanwhile, the Vietnam National Coal-Mineral Industries Corporation and Dong Bac Corporation had a 9.5 million-tonne stockpile by the end of 2017.
In the first quarter of 2018, Vietnam imported 3.68 million tonnes for USD449.06m.
According to the prime ministerial-approved development plan for coal sector to 2020 with the view to 2030, demand in the coming years will be high and the local firms won’t have enough supply. It is estimated that the amount of imported coal in 2020 will reach 40 million tonnes and 100 million tonnes in 2030.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade will follow the development plan and market demand just like other countries. Last year, many people turned to imported coal because it is cheaper than domestic coal. Local firms also haven’t been able to produce several types of coal for industrial use.
Bituminous coal or black coal are imported by EVN and Vietnam Steel Corporation continued to import coke in the first quarter of 2018.
However, global coal prices are now higher than the prices in 2017’s final quarter by 5-7%. The global prices are also higher than domestic prices. That’s why sales of the Vietnam National Coal-Mineral Industries Corporation and Dong Bac Corporation picked up in the first quarter of 2018, reducing the inventory to 8 million tonnes.
The ministry claimed that such situation was based on real market demand and prime ministerial directives.