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China's latest 276-day policy easing offers no quick fix for coking coal

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Report summary

On 17 November, China further relaxes its 276-day production limit to all safety-compliant legal mines until March 2017. We expect all operating legal mines to be qualified for this easing standard. However, the loosening is unlikely to quickly boost domestic coking coal output in the country. We expect there to be around 5 Mt of extra coking coal supply in Q4, which can not fill the supply deficiency in Q4 at 16.9 Mt. A sluggish supply response means Chinese steel mills will continue sourcing higher volumes of hard coking coal from Mongolia and Australia to meet demand, and will play a crucial role in spot price formation in the seaborne market in the very near term.  

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Table of contents

  • Executive summary
  • Unexpected price hikes prompt need to relax production limits
  • Why will Chinese coking coal mines take more time to raise output?
  • Outlook for Chinese coking coal production
  • Outlook for China's coking coal supply-demand balance

Tables and charts

This report includes 3 images and tables including:

Tables

  • Implications of 276-day policy on coking coal production and spot prices

Images

  • Quarterly coking coal production (2014-2016)
  • China coking coal supply and demand balance (Q1 2015 to Q1 2017), Mt

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