In April, the European Union announced a ban on coal imports from Russia as part of sanctions for its invasion of Ukraine. The ban came into effect on 10 August.
Ahead of the ban, European countries, which previously imported 45% of their coal from Russia and have been switching away from expensive natural gas to coal, started to source the fossil fuel from other countries, including South Africa.
Thungela, a leading South African coal exporter and part of a consortium which owns Africa's largest coal export facility, the Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT), said Europe was competing with Asia for South African coal.
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