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China coal short-term outlook March 2021: QHD price ready to soar

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06 April 2021

China coal short-term outlook March 2021: QHD price ready to soar

Report summary

China’s coal market took some dramatic turns in March. On the thermal coal side, although inventory at ports is high and the shoulder demand season is coming, the QHD price increased over RMB150/t in the month. The country’s strong economy and reduced demand for imports were key to the growth. A surprise visit to some Tangshan steel mills by the head of China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment triggered a major cut in steel production. Meanwhile, it’s highly likely that falling demand for coke will be a constant throughout the year. However, we expect the coking coal price will not drop due to disrupted domestic supply and scarcity of imported sources. We expect both thermal and metallurgical coal prices to increase in April. Read our outlook for more details.

Table of contents

  • QHD price prepares to soar
  • Supply shortages and strong demand help stabilise coking coal price
  • Healthy economy supports strong demand for thermal coal
  • Possible steel production cut to harm cokemakers but not necessarily coal miners
  • Record-high output in January and February
  • Supply retreats 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 - Mar 2021.xlsx

    XLSX 420.40 KB

  • Document

    China coal short-term outlook March 2021: QHD price ready to soar

    PDF 896.51 KB