The 7.9 million tonnes of coal exported in the first quarter was 2.62% less than in the corresponding period last year, but things have begun to look up as exports for March, the last month in that quarter, showed an increase of 7.8% YoY. This is according to the Mineral Resources and Petroleum Authority of Mongolia. The rise in March was even more welcome as the drop in February had been worrisomely big, with just 1.27 million tonnes exported. The volume in March was 170% more.
Delays at the border persist, but exporters feel they can see the light at the end of the tunnel. They have also been encouraged by reports of the successful China visit by Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh, and hope that China will buy as much coal from Mongolia as it did in 2017.
The following graphics show how much coal -- including washed, raw, hard, semi-soft, coking, and thermal coal -- each of the major companies exported in the first three months.
As can be seen Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi exported the most, followed by MAK. Energy Resources and SouthGobi Sands achieved almost the same results, but most of the ER coal was washed coking coal. Then come smaller companies like Tavan Tolgoi JSC, Usukh Zoos, Tsagaan Uvuljuu, MoEnCo and others.
As for the coal types, 3.42 million tonnes or 43.2% of the total export, was raw hard coking coal, 2.55 million tonnes or 32.2% semi-soft coking coal, 1 million tonnes or 12.75% thermal coal, and 932,700 tonnes or 11.7% was washed coking coal.