During November, China’s coking coal imports surged 76.6% on month or 108.2% on year to 7.7 million tonnes, hitting a high so far this year, according to recent data from China’s General Administration of Customs (GACC). Last month, China’s coal imports from all origins rose from October, with Australia resuming its position as the country’s top coking-coal supplying source since October 2020.
The GACC data showed that last month, China ‘imported’ 2.7 million tonnes of coking coal from Australia, reflecting the fact that Australian coal that had been unloaded at Chinese ports was finally cleared through Customs, Mysteel Global notes.
As reported, China has restricted Australian coal imports since October 2020 and gradually stopped clearing coal from the country. Since October this year, some Australian coal at Chinese ports was allowed to enter Chinese markets, though the import restrictions remain in effect.
China’s coking coal imports over January-November
Last month, China’s coking coal imports from other key origins also grew markedly compared with October, with those from Mongolia rising 17.4% on month to 1.4 million tonnes, though the total had plunged 43.4% on year, the GACC data showed. As reported, deliveries of Mongolian coal to China moderately recovered late last month, though measures to contain the spread of coronavirus at Sino-Mongolian border checkpoints remained the core constraint on the two countries’ coal trade.
Over January-November, China’s total coking coal imports declined 31.6% on year to 47.2 million tonnes, GACC data showed. Despite the surge in tonnage from Canada, the U.S., and Russia, the absence of Australian coking coal over the first nine months of this year – plus the disruptions to Mongolian coal deliveries – seriously hampered China’s coking coal imports, Mysteel Global noted.
Over the same eleven months, Mongolia stayed China’s top overseas coking coal supply source, shipping 13.2 million tonnes of coking coal to China, down 40.7% on year, or accounting for 27.9% of total coking coal imports over the period.