China’s largest land port – Manzhouli – in Hulunbuir of North China’s Inner Mongolia that borders both Russia and Mongolia has suspended all imports of goods that are not hauled via containers effective the start of December 1 as an emergency measure to contain the spread of COVID-19, according to a local government notice.
The banned goods include wood, coal, mineral fines, chemical fertilizer, pulp, non-gold minerals, agricultural by-products and others that need manual loading and unloading, and such goods that have already arrived at the unloading points have been suspended of unloading too starting December 1, according to the notice.
Three new COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Manzhouli on November 27 that were linked to contaminated imported goods, and on December 1, another 53 new cases were identified, according to official information.
Manzhouli is a main conduit for China to import coal from Russia and deliver the cargoes to the east part of Inner Mongolia and Northeast China’s Heilongjiang, and it is of great importance for China to secure energy products supplies in winter though it is one of the coldest areas in China in winter due to its high latitude, Mysteel Global understands.
Over November 1-12, a total of 1,427 wagons hauling 99,900 tonnes of imported coal arrived at Manzhouli railway station, up 1,166 wagons or nearly four times higher on month, according to data from China Railway Harbin Group, the operator of the Manzhouli railway lines.
Russia is China’s second-largest supplier of coal for all use after Indonesia, with the volume adding up to 47.9 million tonnes over January-October, or accounting for 18.6% of China’s total coal imports, according to China’s Customs data.
The resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Inner Mongolia has so far stalled China’s coal imports from both Mongolia and Russia, as coal trucking from Mongolia’s Gashuun Sukhait to Ganqimaodu, the largest Sino-Mongolian coal trading checkpoint, has been capped within 200 trucks/day at the start of December, as reported.