Commodity Market Report

China coal short-term outlook September 2019: market awaits import restriction guidance

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China’s thermal coal market was stable in September but there were concerns over key market factors. Domestic supply increased but was limited by safety inspections ahead of China's 70th anniversary. Coal generation wasn’t good but showed signs of increasing. Restocking began but was limited by the existing high inventory. And imports remained strong although the risk of restrictions is looming. The benchmark metallurgical coal Liulin #4 price slid RMB50/t to RMB1,530/t in September as environmental inspections in the run-up to the 70th anniversary restricted demand while supply was better than expected. We expect the price to stop declining as steel operations will resume in October. For more details, read our report.

Table of contents

  • High inventory undermines impact of thermal coal restocking
  • Import policy is key for thermal coal prices in October
  • Newly opened Haoji rail line will have little impact for rest of the year
  • Metallurgical coal prices slide amid weaker demand
  • Declining hydro generation supports coal generation
  • Weaker economy and environmental restrictions cut metallurgical coal demand
  • August output constrained by safety checks
  • Air pollution measures may affect coal output

Tables and charts

This report includes 11 images and tables including:

  • Haoji line freight fee
  • 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

    China coal short-term outlook September 2019: market awaits import restriction guidance

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