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China’s June coal imports fall 6.7% y/y on port curbs

China’s coal imports dropped 6.7% in June from the same period last year, as stringent import restrictions at ports impeded purchases by traders and power plants, despite solid fuel demand.

China, the world’s top coal importer, brought in 25.29 million tonnes of the fuel last month, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Tuesday.

That compares with 27.1 million tonnes in June last year but is still higher than 22.06 million in May, driven by stockpiling demand ahead of the peak summer season.

Customs had been stepping up curbs on coal imports since May, through lengthy processing and import quotas as China looks to bolster its coal industry.

For the first half of 2020, China brought in a total of 173.99 million tonnes of coal, up 12.7% over the corresponding period last year.

Powerful state planner, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) met energy firms and local authorities last week, urging miners to boost domestic coal output to ensure market supplies, while not ruling out the possibility of easing the import curbs.

“Notably, recent floods alongside the Yangtze River delta region would affect hydropower generation, which could buoy coal-fired power demand and support thermal coal consumption,” the China Port and Harbour Association said in a note on Monday.

The floods have swelled waters in as many as 33 rivers in China to their highest levels in history.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Muyu Xu and Tom Daly; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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