China coal imports rise 13.5% in April
Chinese coal and lignite imports rose by 13.5% year on year to 843,000t/day (25.3m tonnes) in April, as restocking demand offset customs delays on Australian supplies, according to official data on Wednesday.
Imports last month were 11% higher than in March and the highest in three months.
“Despite concerns of constraints and quotas, coal imports held up relatively well amid restocking ahead of summer demand,” said Australia’s ANZ Bank in a note.
Unofficial government restrictions have affected Australian imports in recent months, yet China still saw its share of Newcastle exports rise 3 percentage points to 20% in April.
However, the import rise likely reflected growth in supply from other origins too, said a Chinese coal analyst, with an energy firm.
“I think the increasing volume does not come from Australia, but from Russia and Indonesia.”
Reports surfaced in April suggesting China may extend import curbs this month, with purchase managers instructed to limit total imports to last year’s 281m tonnes.