China has imported a total of 138.6 million tonnes of coal from January to August this year, 63.2 million tonnes less year on year (y/y), and representing a 31.3% decrease.
The total value of the imported coal also dropped 45.28% y/y, standing at USD864.9 million, showed data released by customs.
In August, the country imported 17.5 million tonnes coal, 1.4 million tonnes less than August 2014 or down 7.26% y/y, and 3.8 million tonnes less than July.
The value of imported coal last month also decreased 28.6% y/y and 24.6% month on month, amounting to USD980.7 million, according to customs, which represented that the price of imported coal dropped USD5.1/tonne to USD56.1/tonne from July to August.
The import is expected to continue to drop to 18.2 million tonnes in September, down 13.8% y/y, SDIC CGOG Futures projected, and it will remain at low level in the coming two months.
Meanwhile, IHS stated in its latest report that China’s thermal coal exports should peak at no more than 16.5 million tonnes by 2017, before declining gradually, as the government is pushing major coal producers to seek other means of revenue growth, including via rail freight and exporting.
As the idle capacity will decrease gradually with weakening government intervention after 2018, IHS Energy believes that China’s thermal coal export recovery will be both temporary and limited.