According to a government plan adopted in early 2016, the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Vinacomin proposed the purchase of around 3 million tons for thermal power plants, but the figure had seen a fourfold increase to 13.3 million tons by the end of 2016.
Import price averaged at US$105 per ton last year, a year-on-year rise of 44.2%. Indonesia, Australia, and Russia were the three biggest coal suppliers of Vietnam, making up 83% of the country’s total imports with 12 million tons last year.
Previously, Vietnam had long maintained a place as one of the leading exporters of coal with exports sometimes reaching 50% of the country’s total output. However, the country is suffering a shortage of high quality coal while the current inventory is in excess of 9 million tons.
Experts forecast that domestic coal production’s failure to meet the demands of thermal power plants and household consumption coupled with difficulties in coal exploitation will lead to a further increase in imports over the future.