China’s coking coal imports rebound in June

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China's coking coal imports rebounded in June on accelerated seaborne trade as trading firms bought cargoes on tighter domestic supply.

China imported 4.13mn t of coking coal in June, down by 34pc from a year earlier but up by 21pc from May, according to Chinese customs data.

January-June imports fell by 42pc on the year to 22.28mn t. China has banned coal imports from Australia since October, and there has been no Australian import since December.

US imports rose by nearly threefold to 938,000t in June on the year, 4pc lower than the record 974,700t in April. Canadian imports in June more than doubled to 888,179t from a year earlier, below the record 1.2mn t in March.

Major Chinese traders scrambled to take positions on non-Australian premium coals on supply shortages in China as Mongolian and domestic supplies remained tight. The Argus premium low-volatile hard coking coal price delivered on a cfr China basis hit a fresh four-year high of $305/t on 30 June, up by 11pc from a month earlier. The Argus premium low-volatile hard coking coal price on a fob Australia basis rose by 25pc to $189/t over the same period.

Russian imports almost doubled to a six-month high of 1.16mn t in June from a year earlier. Major Russian producers took advantage of stronger cfr China prices and prioritised spot volumes into China.

Mongolian arrivals increased by 6pc to 846,000t in June from May, but struggled to exceed 1mn t for a third month. This came as the resurgence of Covid cases in some South Gobi districts compelled stricter border checks from late June, limiting the daily crossing of coal trucks.


By Dylan Wong

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