As of November 23, China’s total coal stocks at power houses nationwide had been growing steadily despite their higher daily consumption during the winter season, reaching 147 million tonnes, among which, those coal-fired power houses under the national grid system had their coal stocks higher on year, the country’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) shared in a post on November 24.
With the steady increase, NDRC expects “the coal inventories at the power houses across China to reach the record high in total by the end of November” with each of them having higher inventories than November 2020, and all the tonnage “will help ascertain power generation and central heating in the winter and spring of 2022”.
China’s national grid system under the management of State Grid Corporation of China or SGCC covers 88% of the homeland, and the rises in coal stocks at the national power houses so far have varied from the previous years when around mid- or late November, the inventories tend to decrease gradually with higher daily consumption when the central heating service starts, Mysteel Global understood from NDRC’s remarks.
The rises in stocks have had great to do with the rises in China’s thermal coal supply for power generation since October, or up 30% on year, and for November 2021, coal supply to power plants has averaged 8.6 million tonnes/day or even surging to 9.43 million t/d at one point, which has been nearly 2 million t/d higher than their daily consumption, according to NDRC.
Ever-rising supplies have cooled the Chinese coal prices, and over November 11-20, the price of 5,500 kcal/kg Shanxi blended thermal coal fell another Yuan 37.7/tonne ($5.9/t) or 3.1% from November 1-10 to Yuan 1,178.6/t including the 13% VAT, the country’s National Bureau of Statistics shared on November 24.
For December, procurement of thermal coal from the spot market is expected to ease further with sufficient coal stocks at the end-users and the growth in industrial power consumption may also ease, China Coal Transport and Distribution Association (CCTD) shared its projection on November 24, with the latter mainly due to Beijing’s measures to reduce energy consumption and intensity among energy-intensive enterprises and high base in the sector a year ago.
In China, coal-fired power consumption has already shown signs of easing, the association noted, as since mid-November, daily thermal coal consumption in 17 inland provinces under its tracking inched up 0.8% on year against the 21% on-year growth for the eight coastal provinces and these inland provinces over January-October.