Coal imports rise as winter approaches

Date:2011-10-25     Source:xuxinqulina  Text Size:

CHINA'S monthly coal imports rose to a record in September as power utilities built up stocks to meet higher demand during the winter.

Last month's purchases rose 25 percent annually to 19.1 million tons, or 15 percent from August, according to the General Administration of Customs yesterday. The previous high was 1.18 million tons in July.

Analysts said September's robust imports were due partly to power plants increasing purchases as they prepared for a two-week partial maintenance program on the key Daqin railway from September 20.

Imports in the first nine months totaled 123.4 million tons, up 1.88 percent from a year earlier and a reversal from a negative reading for January to August.

But imports may fall in the fourth quarter of the year, the analysts said, citing ample inventories and volatile prices.

The State Electricity Regulatory Commission said last week that China will see a less severe power shortfall in the coming winter season than during the summer. But the shortage could be higher than expected if coal supplies were not adequate.

China's imports of liquefied natural gas rose 17 percent from a year earlier to 1.15 million tons in September, the customs data showed. LNG buying hit a record high of 1.18 million tons in July.

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