Commodity Market Report

China coal short-term outlook February 2021: price tumble after the holiday amid weak demand

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02 March 2021

China coal short-term outlook February 2021: price tumble after the holiday amid weak demand

Report summary

While coal supply maintained its momentum during the Chinese new year holiday, the demand side tells a different story. Both thermal and metallurgical coal prices suffered losses after the holiday, but we expect them to trend differently in March. As we pointed out in the previous market outlook, QHD prices dropped by roughly RMB200/t in February, owing to robust supply and sluggish demand due to record-high temperatures. We expect price drops to continue throughout the weak demand season, but we also recognise the possibility of supply rationalisation to prevent further drops. Inventory build-up and logistical issues led to a RMB80/t drop in the price of Anze low-sulphur premium coking coal price. With transport issues now resolved and demand picking up in March, we expect to see a rebound in the coming month.

Table of contents

  • The QHD price drops to ‘green area’
  • Flattening coking coal price weakened by mild inventory build-up
  • Warmer weather and non-fossil energy cut coal demand
  • Steel and coke inventory accumulation triggered the downturn of coke prices
  • Domestic supply remained strong through the holiday
  • Growth rate to retreat in March

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 Feb 2021

    XLSX 428.58 KB

  • Document

    China coal short-term outlook February 2021: price tumble after the holiday amid weak demand

    PDF 932.57 KB