China’s June coal imports fall as local miners boost output

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s June coal imports fell 1.4% from May to 27.1 million tonnes, official data showed on Friday, as local miners boosted output to ensure adequate supply ahead of summer.

For the first-half of the year, China brought in a total of 154.49 million tonnes of the fuel, up 5.8% from same period in 2018, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.

Beijing has asked coal miners, especially the big ones in the western regions of Shanxi, Shaanxi and Inner Mongolia, to step up production of high-quality coal to meet increasing demand over the summer, when some people crank up their air conditioning.

Utilities have also been asked to set up coal warehouses and keep coal inventories at a “reasonable level” to avoid power blackouts.

Coal stockpiles at China’s six largest coastal coal-fired power plants reached 18.32 million tonnes on Wednesday, equivalent to nearly 31 days of daily consumption, data from the Qinhuangdao Seaborne Coal Market showed.

Thermal coal prices at the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange CZCcv1 has fallen to 582.4 yuan ($84.68) a tonne after hitting 612.6 yuan a tonne, a peak since in two months, in mid-June.

Reporting by Muyu Xu and Shivani Singh; editing by Richard Pullin

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