China October coal imports decreased to 21.28 million tonnes due to air pollution campaign

09/11/2017 14:26 Coal


China’s coal imports dropped in October compared with September, limited by efforts by the world’s top acquirer to substitute coal with greener carburant in the northern part of the nation to achieve rigorous air quality objectives. 

According to data provided by the General Administration of Customs, the imports reached the level of 21.28 million tonnes last month, or a decline from 27.08 million tonnes registered in September.

That brought purchases in January-October period to 226.13 million tonnes rate, up 12.0 percent from a year before. 

Xu Bo, analyst at Haitong Futures declared: “Coal consumption was curbed by output cuts...driving coal prices down and making imported coal less competitive compared to the domestic fuel,”.

Coal price arrived at around 605 yuan ($91.16) a tonne at the beginning of October, after it had increased to a record level of 667.4 on September 19. China has made efforts to limit coal use and promote cleaner power generation to diminish air pollution. It targets to cut out coal usage at 300 million tonnes by 2020.

Big coal consumers like steel mills and aluminum smelters in the northern part of China have been told to reduce output by an amount of 50 percent during winter. Tangshan and Handan, two major steelmaking cities in Hebei, started applying production cuts since October. 

Data from Mysteel and Wind consultancy indicated that stockpiles in major coal import ports in northern China still stay at high level, with almost 7 million coal piling at Qinhuangdao Port. The indices comprise lignite, a type of coal with lower heating value that is extensively furnished by Indonesia. 

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