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China 2017 coal imports from Russia surge after North Korea ban - Customs

Coal News - Published on Tue, 30 Jan 2018

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Reuters reported that China’s coal imports from Russia and Mongolia soared in 2017, Customs data showed that, as the two countries filled a supply gap caused by trade sanctions on North Korea. Arrivals from Russia COA-RUCN-IMP in 2017 surged 36.3 % from 2016 to 25.3 million tonnes, data from the General Administration of Customs showed, with December figures at 2.14 million tonnes, up 16.2 % from a year ago and 11.5 % from November.

Imports from Mongolia COA-MNCN-IMP rose to 33.58 million tonnes in 2017, up 27.6 % from 2016, while December’s imports came in at 2.83 million tonnes, down 18.6 % from a year ago but up 2.5 % from November.

China issued a ban on coal imports from North Korea in late February, about a week after the country tested an intermediate-range ballistic missile. For the rest of the year, China only reported North Korean coal imports in August and September.COA-KPCN-IMP

In 2016, China brought in more than 20 million tonnes of North Korean coal, making it Beijing’s fourth-largest supplier after Australia, Indonesia and Mongolia.

Mr Cheng Gong, an analyst at the China National Coal Association said that “The majority of market share left by North Korea was grabbed by Russia, as mining costs in Russia are cheaper than in China’s northeastern region.”

In 2017, Australia was China’s largest coal supplier for a sixth year in a row, bolstered by increasing demand for high-grade supplies due to Beijing’s crackdown on air pollution.

Coal imports from Australia COA-AUCN-IMP rose 13.4 % from 2016 to 79.91 million tonnes. In December, China bought 8.07 million tonnes of Australian coal, up 19.4 % from a year ago.

Australian coal, with lower pollutants such as sulphides and ash and a higher energy value, is considered a high-grade fuel compared to Mongolian and Indian supply.

Arrivals from Indonesia COA-IDCN-IMP in 2017 fell 9.7 % from 2016 to 35.28 million tonnes. December imports of 1.71 million tonnes were down 63.1 percent from the same period in 2016.

In late November, Beijing eased some restrictions on coal imports to ensure stable coal supplies during the peak winter heating season.

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Posted By : Nanda Koijam on Tue, 30 Jan 2018
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