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China and India were again the two largest coal importers in 2020, but whilst China increased imports by 0.6%, India cut them by 12.4%.

Imports rose in other Asian countries such as Viet Nam, Bangladesh, Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines.

Conversely, the European Union reduced coal imports by 29.7%, falling below 100 Mt for the first time since it was founded. Germany accounted for 30% of this decrease. Major declines were also observed in Spain, Netherlands, Poland, France, Italy and Portugal, with reductions ranging from –23% (Poland) to -54% (Spain).

Total coal imports by major importers, 1978-2020