Mongolia’s coal trade with China, the destination of almost all Mongolian coal for export, has slowed again because of the deteriorating pandemic situation inside Mongolia since mid-November, according to Mysteel’s survey.
On November 23, deliveries of Mongolian coal via Ganqimaodu and Ceke, the top two China-Mongolia coal trade ports in North China’s Inner Mongolia, reached 210 trucks/day and 214 trucks/day respectively, according to Mysteel’s data.
The volume was far lower than in October when, for example, the average number of trucks processed through Ganqimaodu was above 900 per day, the data notes.
According to new World Health Organization statistics, Mongolia had confirmed a total of 629 COVID-19 cases as of November 23. Over the two weeks spanning November 9-23, this country of just 3.3 million people experienced a spike in new cases of the virus, with some 213 cases being confirmed, WHO data showed.
“The Chinese side demanded that coal truck drivers be tested for COVID-19 at the border,” Mongolia’s Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry noted in a release on Tuesday. As of that day, 854 drivers had been tested, the release stated, noting that in the future, the ministry is working to fully test 5,000 drivers.
The decline in Mongolian coal imports has exacerbated the regional tightness of premium coking coal supply in China, particularly in North China markets. On November 24, some end-users in Tangshan, North China’s core steelmaking city, hiked their procurement prices for Mongolian coal by a huge Yuan 80-100/tonne ($12.2-15.2/t) aiming to guarantee the steady operation of their coking plants going forward, according to sources.
“China’s demand for coking coal has strengthened thanks to the rise in profits the coke makers are enjoying,” said a Shanghai-based analyst. “Besides, these coke makers are in the process of building up coal stocks to tide their operations through winter, at a time when both domestic and seaborne premium coal supplies are tight,” he commented.
As of November 25, Mysteel’s price assessment for processed Mongolian coal with 11% ash, 25% volatile matter and 0.7% sulphur had increased Yuan 20/t on week to Yuan 1,100/t including the 13% VAT at the border, reaching an eight-month high.
Source: Sean Xie & Russ McCulloch, mysteel.com
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