Mongolia’s coal exports rose 15 percent on the year to 7.8 million tonnes in the first quarter, with the country benefiting from customs delays impeding imports from Australia during the period. Export earnings from coal over the first three months of the year reached US$644 million, up 25 percent compared to a year earlier. The rise in coal exports helped drive up Mongolia’s total industrial output from coal mining by 64.9 percent over the period. Mongolia’s industrial output rose 17.5 percent over the first quarter, while the total value of the country’s exports rose 19.5 percent.
Mongolia is heavily dependent on demand for coal and copper from China, its southern neighbour and the buyer of more than 90 percent of its exports. China has sharply reduced purchases of Australian coal after clearing times through China’s customs doubled to more than 40 days amid growing tensions between Beijing and Canberra over issues ranging from cyber security to Beijing’s influence in Pacific island nations. (Reuters)