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Increased dependence on thermal power spurs Vietnam coal imports increase in May

May customs data has shown that Vietnam imported 6.5 million tons of coal in May representing a 10 percent increase in coal imports over April. This is inline with reports that Vietnam is ramping up its coal-fired power production to stave off the electricity shortages northern Vietnam experienced over the summer months of 2023.

Of note, the price it is paying to its key suppliers has varied widely over the first five months of the year. Its most expensive coal imports have come from China averaging US$294.57 per ton versus its cheapest coal imports from Laos which have cost US$65.79 a ton by the same metric. On average, it has paid US$160 per ton.

The spot price for coal at the time of writing was US$109 per ton.

Vietnam’s coal imports, May 2024

MayYear to date
SourceTonsUS$TonsUS$Avg. per ton
Australia1,428,148225,743,5546,994,6201,205,544,801172.35
Indonesia3,399,238316,609,64511,362,2411,063,924,69793.64
Russia500,86284,355,9092,476,623471,371,799190.33
China101,74428,632,845267,63278,835,675294.57
Laos307,41118,911,792972,42463,979,02465.79
Malaysia10036,00731,8432,914,95391.54
Japan3,142797,9663,157809,886256.54
Other756,37893,085,4794,956,471576,345,366116.28
Total6,497,023768,173,19727,065,0113,463,726,201160.13

Source: General Department of Customs

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