According to recent government data, sustained economic growth has promoted an increase in China’s energy consumption. Domestic demand has spurred coal imports. After a fallback of coal imports in July and August, China’s coal import rallied again in September reached 12.55 million mt up 780,000 mt month-on-month and 8.85 million mt or 235.9% year-on-year. Although the import volume in October has not yet announced, they are expected to reach 85.7 million mt in first nine months accumulatively up by
167% year-on-year. China only exported 2 million metric tons (mt) of coal in October, down 20% year-on-year. Year-to-date exports totaled 18.9 million mt for the first 10 months down by 50.6% over the 38.3 million mt one year ago. Coal exports totaled 45 million mt in 2008. Exports are expected remain around 2 million mt or less for the last two months of this year. Total exports would be less than 24 million mt in 2009 cut more than 47% year-on-year.
In related news, the Chinese government recently ordered state run mining company Shenhua to build reserve sites capable of holding as much as 200 million mt of coal. According to The Nikkei, the report said the government seeks to keep the equivalent of about 10% of domestic consumption in reserve. China produced and consumed 2.7 billion mt of coal last year about 40% of the global total.