china coal import

So Much for ‘the End of Coal’

Ethical funds have been sprouting like weeds in recent years. Many of these funds shun companies involved in fossil fuels.

That’s their choice, of course. But they may be doing their clients a disservice, reducing their potential profits.

Investors who turn their backs on coal may be interested in the latest news out of China…the world’s second largest economy.

China’s coal imports hit their highest level in four years in January, customs data shows. Snowstorms across the country have boosted demand from utilities and snarled domestic transport networks.

China brought in 27.81 million tonnes of coal last month, up 11.5% from 24.91 million the year before, the General Administration of Customs said on Thursday. That’s compared with 22.74 million tonnes in December.

Seaborne coal shipments from Indonesia rose to 11.06 million tonnes last month, the highest since November, 2016. While coal arrivals from Australia climbed to their highest in months, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters Supply Chain and Commodity Forecasts.

Shipments in February have already touched 11.7 million tonnes, the Supply Chain data showed.

The cold snap pushed daily coal consumption at utilities to a record seasonal-high of 850,0000 tonnes as of February 2. While inventories at power plants fell to a critical level of less than 15 days of consumption, data from consultants Wind showed. 

In late January, four of China’s top utilities warned of heating and electricity shortages due to tight supplies of coal.

Thermal coal prices on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange touched a record-high of 679.8 yuan ($US107.96) a tonne on January 29.

Foreign coal prices are more competitive as coal prices in China rallied on capacity reduction,’ said Cheng Gong, analyst at China National Coal Association.

Beijing has vowed to phase out all small coal mines with capacity below 90,000 tonnes across the country, but some regions have raised the threshold to below 150,000 tonnes to further streamline the industry.

Shanxi, the country’s coal mining hub, has ordered big coal mines to shorten or cancel staff holidays during Lunar New Year.

Meanwhile, some coal imports have been stranded due to insufficient rail freight capacity in the wake of the snowy conditions.

Coal imports will remain at a high level in February and March due to robust demand at utilities for heating. Arrivals are likely to fall after March when the weather gets warm,’ said Cheng.

The heating season typically ends in mid-March in northern China.

The Australian Tribune with RAW

The Australian Tribune with RAW

The Australian Tribune with RAW

Comments: 1

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  1. Watch and learn
    Air pollution causes millions of cases of kidney disease each year
    American Society of Nephrology

    Do note that pollution is an existential threat for the Government of India and also the Chinese regime. For self serving political reasons they have to reduce air pollution for their own survival. China has a program of massive reduction in coal use, but due to bad weather causing delays, their replacement system and interconnectors were not ready so they had to relax the rules and allow continuing Coal use for THIS YEAR