(BN) China Coal Imports May Jump 60% in 2011 on Demand, UOB Says


China Coal Imports May Jump 60% in 2011 on Demand, UOB Says
2010-12-20 05:19:45.466 GMT

By Bloomberg News
Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- China's coal imports may jump 60
percent in 2011 on strong demand from power plants, said UOB Kay
Hian Ltd.
China's overseas coal purchases may rise to 265 million
metric tons from an estimated 166 million tons this year, Helen
Lau, a Hong Kong-based coal analyst at the brokerage, said in an
e-mailed note today.
The world's largest consumer and producer of coal boosted
imports by 38 percent to 133.93 million tons in the first 10
months of 2010, according to government data. The economy will
expand 9.2 percent next year compared with 10 percent in 2010,
according to a Bloomberg News survey of 17 economists.
"Overseas imports will continue strong growth supported by
domestic demand," Lau said in a telephone interview today. "We
see increased supplies from countries especially Mongolia."
China's coal imports from Mongolia more than doubled to
12.64 million tons in the first 10 months, government data show.
Provinces with string economic growth, including Guangdong
in the south, and Zhejiang and Jiangsu in the east, will support
consistent demand for imports because domestic rail links lack
sufficient capacity, she said.
Power-station coal prices at Qinhuangdao port, a Chinese
benchmark, fell 1.6% to between 785 yuan ($118) and 795 yuan a
ton as of Dec. 20 from a week earlier, according to data
released today by the China Coal Transport and Distribution
"This must be a temporary adjustment of spot coal prices
after the government froze 2011 contract coal prices," Lau said.
"Demand for coal at this juncture is strong and spot coal
prices are still in an uptrend. Cold weather and logistics
bottlenecks exacerbate the supply tightness."
The Qinhuangdao coal price gained to a two-year high of
807.5 yuan a ton on Nov. 29, prompted by peak winter demand.
State Grid Corp. of China, the larger of the nation's two
power distributors, said the country has shut power generation
units with a combined capacity of 5.23 million kilowatts because
of a shortage of coal. China uses coal to fuel 80 percent of the
nation's power generation units.

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--Winnie Zhu in Shanghai. Editors: Clyde Russell, John Viljoen.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Winnie Zhu in Shanghai at +86-21-6104-3046 or

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Clyde Russell at +65-6311-2423 or crussell7@bloomberg.net