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China coal short-term outlook December 2017: import ban lifted to feed power plant

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05 January 2018

China coal short-term outlook December 2017: import ban lifted to feed power plant

Report summary

Demand for both thermal and metallurgical coal ended 2017 on a better-than-expected note. Strong industrial performance and cold temperatures maintained a healthy appetite for thermal coal. When gas shortages struck, many households that had been encouraged to switch to gas for heating this year but found themselves freezing were allowed to revert to coal. Cokemakers were also called upon to make up for the intermittent gas supply, boosting metallurgical coal demand in the process, but highlighting flaws in China's efforts to curb pollution. A combination of policy and poor weather constrained supply, leading to a reported suspension of the seaborne import ban. But just how effective will this move be? And how have all of these factors influenced prices? More importantly, what impact is China's '2+26' policy to curb pollution having on the market?

Table of contents

    • Key market data
    • Long-term contracts and lift on import ban pressure thermal prices
    • Supply shortage gained momentum to push up metallurgical coal prices
      • Key thermal coal prices – history and forecast, US$/t nominal
      • Hard coking coal price arbitrage at Tangshan steel mill, US$/t nominal
    • Stably growing economy and cold snaps push up thermal coal demand
    • 2017-2021 clean heating plan for northern China
    • Winter restocking and higher-than-expected steel output revive metallurgical coal demand
    • Domestic supply is recovering but still restricted by safety issues
    • China suspends restrictions on seaborne coal imports until 15 February

Tables and charts

This report includes 10 images and tables including:

  • Executive summary: Table 1
  • Monthly coal-fired generation, TWh
  • Monthly hydropower generation, TWh
  • Monthly throughput at Qinhuangdao, Mt
  • Monthly throughput at Huanghua, Mt
  • Monthly hot metal production, Mt
  • Monthly metallurgical coke production, Mt
  • Supply: Table 1
  • Prices: Image 1
  • Prices: Image 2

What's included

This report contains:

  • Document

    cms china short term market report data.xls

    XLS 2.26 MB

  • Document

    China coal short-term outlook December 2017: import ban lifted to feed power plant

    PDF 390.28 KB

  • Document

    China coal short-term outlook December 2017: import ban lifted to feed power plant

    ZIP 1.78 MB

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