LONDON – The Atlantic basin market's share of South African coal exports dropped to 36% in August from 42% in July because other coal origins were cheaper in the European market, exporters said.
South African coal continues to see stronger demand from Asia, particularly China.
Of the total August exports of 6.9 million - the highest figure for 10 months - India took 1.8-million tons, up from 1.3-million in July.
The August tonnage was sharply higher than July's 4.3-million tons because railing of coal to Richards Bay Coal Terminal went smoothly and at a higher rate than some miners had expected.
The other surprise in the August statistics was another leap in Chinese demand for South African coal.
China took 1.5-million tons in August - 500 000 t more than the industry's cargo-counters had predicted - and an increase from 1.3-million tons in July.
Chinese importers have strenuously denied that South African coal was priced competitively enough to be moving into China while suppliers have insisted that there has been steady demand for standard grade coal.