Coal imports to China almost doubled over the past year

Chinese coal miners. Photo: Famurpro

Coal imports to China have almost doubled over the past year, according to a recent report of the Chinese General Customs Administration. In October of this year, imports amounted to 26.9 million tons of coal, which is 96.2% more than in 2020.


However, coal imports this October hit their lowest level in five months and fell 18.2% from September. In total, according to customs data, in January-October, China imported 257.34 million tons of coal, which is 1.9% more in annual terms.


In fact, China faced an acute shortage of electricity amid rising global energy prices this fall. In September, most of the country's provinces imposed restrictions on electricity consumption and suspended the work of hundreds of energy-intensive enterprises. In response, the authorities decided to urgently re-launch mines and increase coal production rates. In addition, the authorities began the conduction of numerous inspections of national coal mining and trading companies in order to prevent an increase in prices for coal. In addition, China lifted an unspoken ban on the import of Australian coal, which lasted for about a year.


These measures have brought results,  as according to analysts at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia: the number of provinces with severe power shortages declined to two by mid-October, down from 18 at the beginning of the month.


On November 7, China's State Grid Company announced that electricity supplies had stabilized, but warned of possible local power shortages during the winter months.


By: Eugene Gerden