China's seaborne metallurgical coal imports surged by 15% year on year in the first half of 2017. This is despite a recovery in domestic metallurgical coal supply. Wood Mackenzie recently visited coastal mills to understand why they continue to use imported coal and whether the demand will remain strong in H2 2017. Demand is likely to be stronger in H2 2017 than it was in the same period a year before. However it won't be as strong as the first half of 2017 with high international prices and a slowdown in steel production both playing a part. That said higher government standards to control emissions guarantee a need for premium imported hard coking coal with low sulphur and low ash.