China imported 32.95 million mt of coal in August, both thermal and coking coal, up 14.9% year on year, according to preliminary data released by China’s General Administration of Customs on Sunday.
August’s total import volume was up a slight 0.18% from July, after volumes jumped 21% from June to July. China imported 220 million mt of coal over January-August, up by about 8% year on year, the GAC data showed. GAC did not provide a breakdown of the August imports by grades. This will be included in the more detailed data due for release later in the month. Some Chinese power utilities had issued tenders for coal shipment, boosting import volumes for the past two months.
Thermal coal market sources are expecting the curbs on coal imports to further tighten in the fourth quarter as the Chinese authorities are likely to keep import volumes in check. China imported 281 million mt of coal in 2018 and import volumes in 2019 was expected to be similar.