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LAUNCESTON, (Australia): Cheaper prices and rising energy demand are boosting seaborne imports of thermal coal among most, but not all, of Asia’s major buyers of the fuel used to generate power.

The world’s two biggest coal producers and importers, China and India, are leading the charge, with March imports expected to hit multi-month highs.

China’s imports of seaborne thermal coal are forecast to reach 26.82 million tonnes in March, according to data compiled by commodity analysts Kpler.

This would be the highest monthly total in Kpler records going back to January 2017, and would be 41% above February’s 19.96 million tonnes and 70% more than the 15.81 million tonnes from March 2022. India’s imports of thermal coal are expected to reach 12.52 million tonnes in March, the most since August last year and up 21% from February’s 10.35 million. The common thread for China and India is relatively strong economic growth spurring demand for electricity, as China reopens after ending its zero-COVID policy and India’s services and infrastructure sectors remain robust.

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