Commodity Market Report

China coal short-term outlook December 2020: QHD price reaches RMB800/t

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07 January 2021

China coal short-term outlook December 2020: QHD price reaches RMB800/t

Report summary

China’s thermal coal market was bustling in December. The suspension of daily QHD price index releases early in the month caused some chaos in the market with no reference for trading. Further government intervention to stabilise coal prices below RMB640/t had little impact. Meanwhile, three provinces experienced blackouts in some parts, with rumours suggesting a coal shortage was to blame. Finally, the robust economy and cold snaps bolstered strong coal demand. All these factors pushed the QHD price to above RMB800/t, its highest since February 2012. The metallurgical coal market showed similar heat. Strong steel consumption, the closure of specific coke ovens in Shanxi and Henan, and low imports from both Australia and Mongolia all supported an increase in domestic metallurgical coal prices. The benchmark Liulin #4 increased to RMB1,530/t in December. Read the report for more details and our forecast for January.

Table of contents

  • QHD price reaches RMB800/t
  • Price upticks supported by strong demand and coke shortage
  • Strong economy and cold weather leads to robust thermal coal demand
  • Blackouts not down to tight coal supply
  • Strong steel production to keep coking coal demand high
  • Output improves but remains tight
  • Slowdown in project approvals

Tables and charts

This report includes 10 images and tables including:

  • Key thermal coal prices: history and forecast (US$/t)
  • Hard coking coal price arbitrage at Tangshan steel mill (US$/t nominal)
  • Monthly coal-fired power generation (TWh)
  • Monthly hydro-power generation (TWh)
  • Monthly throughput at Qinhuangdao port (Mt)
  • Monthly throughput at Huanghua port (Mt)
  • Monthly hot metal production (Mt)
  • Monthly metallurgical coke production (Mt)
  • Thermal coal supply (Mt)
  • Metallurgical coal supply (Mt)

What's included

This report contains:

  • Document

    Coal Markets China Short Term Outlook Data Dec 2020

    XLSX 427.39 KB

  • Document

    China coal short-term outlook December 2020: QHD price reaches RMB800/t

    PDF 1.07 MB