CRU: China Discourages Australian Coal Imports

CRU: China Discourages Australian Coal Imports

PR Newswire

LONDON, Feb. 28, 2019

LONDON, Feb. 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- In recent weeks, Australian coal cargoes have been facing increasing delays clearing customs at Chinese ports. Most recently, it was reported that Dalian Port, in North China, has banned Australian coal from being received. This Insight aims to explain the possible impact of such policies, which are making Australian coal less viable for Chinese consumers.

China discourages Australian coal imports
CRU Logo

A weaker Chinese market makes this more feasible

Chinese coal imports have increased by a CAGR of 11% since 2015, considerably stronger than underlying demand growth of 1% per year. During this period there has been major consolidation of the country's coal mining industry that resulted in a 9% drop in coal production in 2016 and limited supply growth in 2017. This consolidation is viewed as successful, as profitability of the coal industry has improved; however, higher imports are an undesirable, albeit very predictable, outcome from supply-side reform and now market conditions are such that policy makers feel able to do something about rising imports.

While CRU estimate the Chinese coal industry remains profitable, margins are falling and are at their lowest since restructuring began. Coal demand, particularly in coastal China, fell significantly towards the end of 2018 as Chinese industrial activity deteriorated. At the same time, Chinese coal supply has gradually improved in recent quarters as the pace of capacity closures has slowed and incremental capacity has been expedited in order to bring down fuel costs. Coal production has risen by 5% y/y in recent months, while demand growth has slowed and most Chinese consumers have plenty of stock to use.

Both parties will be affected

Despite the fairly weak market in China, domestic thermal and coking coal prices have risen in response to this development, albeit slightly. In the last three years, Australian coal has accounted for 30% of total Chinese coal imports but CRU estimate that Australian met. coal accounts for 80% of met. coal imports on the coast (i.e. excluding inland imports from Mongolia). Australian thermal coal accounts for 20% of Chinese thermal coal imports, but the relatively high energy content of these tonnes means that Australian coal has accounted for 30% of energy imported in coal.

Read the full story:  

Read more about CRU:

About CRU

CRU offers unrivalled business intelligence on the global metals, mining and fertilizer industries through market analysis, price assessments, consultancy and events.

Since our foundation by Robert Perlman in 1969, we have consistently invested in primary research and robust methodologies, and developed expert teams in key locations worldwide, including in hard-to-reach markets such as China.

CRU employs over 280 experts and has more than 11 offices around the world, in Europe, the Americas, China, Asia and Australia – our office in Beijing opened in 2004 and Singapore in 2018.

When facing critical business decisions, you can rely on our first-hand knowledge to give you a complete view of a commodity market. And you can engage with our experts directly, for the full picture and a personalised response.

CRU – big enough to deliver a high-quality service, small enough to care about all of our customers.

Voltar noticias em Inglês