The Top 5 Coal and Iron Ore Exporting and Importing Countries

Countries such as Canada, Australia, Brazil ,etc are blessed with plenty of natural resources and they are big exporters of commodities such as Natural Gas, Iron Ore, Coal, Natural gas, etc. In this post let us take a look at the top five coal and iron ore exporters and importers in the world.

Top five coal and iron ore exporters and importers

Via Reserve Bank of Australia Bulletin, January 2009, Australia and the Global market for Bulk Commodities

From the above table, we can infer that China is the largest producer and consumer of coal (thermal and coking) in the world.This is due to the heavy industrialization taking place in China in recent years.Nearly 75% of thermal coal in the world is produced and consumed by China, USA and India since the demand for coal is high in these countries. In the USA, coal is still the major resource for generating electricity. Despite the movement to go green, coal will continue to the main source for electricity production in the USA for many years to come as per a report by the Energy Information Adminstration.

Electricity Generation by Fuel in USA

Coal Fired Plants Growth Chart in USA

Source: EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook, 2009

Coking coal is used in the production of steel.China produces 20% of iron ore and uses the coking coal to produce steel. Since demand exceeds local supply, China imports additional iron ore from other countries such as Brazil and Australia.

Europe and Japan consume large quantities of all coal and iron ores but have to import them.Australia was a major exporter of coking coal  and iron ore. China is the largest consumer of iron ore and Brazil and Australia are the largest exporters accounting for 64% of the total supply.

Related Commodity and Country ETFs:

  • Market Vectors Coal ETF (KOL)
  • Market Vectors Steel ETF (SLX)
  • iShares MSCI Austrlia ETF (EWA)
  • iShares MSCI Canada ETF (EWC)
  • iShares MSCI Brazil ETF (EWZ)

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