China’s coal imports have grown this year, but this may be about to change, assuming Beijing takes steps to ensure that growth for the whole of 2019 is more or less zero. Total coal imports rose 8.1% in the first eight months of the year to 220.8 million metric tons (mt), a gain of 17 million mt. Looking specifically at seaborne imports, which exclude overland shipments from countries such as Mongolia, the growth looks even more impressive. Seaborne imports were 191.3 million mt in the January-August period, up 11.4% from 171.8 million mt in the same period last year.