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China & Coal: China's 2019 coal imports set to rise more than 10%: analysts

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China's 2019 coal imports set to rise more than 10%: analysts

 

 

BEIJING/MELBOURNE (Reuters) - China, the world's top coal buyer, is on track to boost imports of the fuel by more than 10% this year, traders and analysts said on Tuesday, countering earlier expectations that shipments would be capped by Beijing at the same level as 2018.

China's coal imports have already surged 9.5% in the first nine months of 2019 to 250.57 million tonnes, customs data shows, and at least 18.84 million tonnes of seaborne coal are due to arrive this month, according to vessel-tracking and port data compiled by Refinitiv.

With China typically bringing in about 7 million tonnes more a month on trucks and trains from Mongolia and Russia, total volumes are likely to reach 276 million tonnes well before the end of the year.

Last year's total was 281.23 million tonnes.

"Signs are emerging of a modest recovery in coal import volumes into China, which has led to recent market speculation that the Chinese government may allow a relatively modest uplift in annual imports to around 300 million tonnes," said Whitehaven Coal Ltd, Australia's largest independent coal producer, in a note on Tuesday.

Energy consultancy IHS Markit expects that China may bring in around 320 million tonnes of coal this year.

Some Singapore-based coal traders forecast Chinese coal imports could reach at least 305 million tonnes.

 

Graphic: China's monthly coal imports in 2015-2019, https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/ce/7/7014/6996/coal seasonality chart.png

 

The rise in imports comes even after Beijing has pledged to curb coal use to tackle persistent severe pollution in the world's top energy market.

Last year it took drastic measures to cap its shipments, halting all clearance of coal cargoes at major ports in December, which sent imports plunging to just 10 million tonnes that month, down from an average monthly level of 22 million tonnes.

"Government priority at this moment is to boost the economy ... Relaxing coal imports curb would help maintain a moderate coal price and therefore cut electricity prices in order to reduce energy costs for Chinese enterprises," said Liu Xiaomin, analyst at IHS Markit in Beijing.

Analysts and traders warned that the customs authorities could still take such action however, and said they are closely watching for any change in import policy.

 

"The market is full of uncertainties at this moment. We have to wait until at least the end of October to see if a new policy will come out," said a Beijing-based coal trader with a leading German power company.

IHS Markit's Liu also warned the import policy may be adjusted anytime based on coal prices and the economic situation in China.

Still, buyers have not slowed their purchases, thanks to a large spread between domestic and imported coal prices and increasing demand for the fuel ahead of northern China's heating season that kicks off next month, said three other traders with major power utilities and trading houses.

Port prices for Chinese thermal coal with energy content of 5,500 kilocalories per kilogramme (Kcal) were around 575 yuan ($81.25) a tonne on Monday, while Australian coal of the same quality was sold at $53 a tonne FOB.

 

 
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I'm sure the Greta gang will be there soon rather than just focusing on certain continents where free speech is allowed. 

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8 minutes ago, DayTrader said:

I'm sure the Greta gang will be there soon rather than just focusing on certain continents where free speech is allowed. 

I will finance her trip to China with a 1 way F/C ticket!!!! so she can educate the Chinese Gov and tell them "How dare they!!"

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yep, go there then pop down to India, then get back to me

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1 minute ago, DayTrader said:

yep, go there then pop down to India, then get back to me

While she is there, maybe she can go see the enviro carnage left behind and being done because of her smart phone for dumb people and all the fake green energy tech

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If it was logistically feasible and strategically acceptable China would like to import not 300 million tons of coal per year,

but at least 1000 million tons (1 billion). Own Chinese output this year will be about: 3.6 billion tons.

Chinese coal mining costs are rising fast every year and coal is the only viable baseload solution for China for the next 30 years, later more nuclear with phase in. Natural gas is more a peak generator.

1. Raw coal production slowed down

 

In September, the output of raw coal was 320 million tons, up by 4.4 percent year-on-year, and the growth rate fell 0.6 percentage point than that of last month. The average daily output was 10.8 million tons, 610 thousand tons more than last month. In the first three quarters, the output of raw coal was 2.74 billion tons, an increase of 4.5 percent year-on-year, and 1.9 percent points faster than that in the first half year.

 

W020191021571318464522_r75.jpg

 

In September, 30.29 million tons of coal were imported, an increase of 20.5 percent year on year, 2.66 million tons less than last month. In the first three quarters, 250.57 million tons of coal were imported, an increase of 9.5 percent year-on-year, and 3.7 percent points of faster than that in the first half year.

 

W020191021571318462574_r75.jpg

 

Coal prices were stable. On September 27, the comprehensive trading price of Qinhuangdao 5500 kilocalorie coal was 570 yuan per ton, and 509 yuan per ton for 5000 kilocalories, respectively fell 4 and 1 yuan than that in late August. That of 4500 kilocalories coal was 456 yuan per ton, 1 yuan higher than that in late August.

 

W020191021575054247117_r75.jpg

 

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According to *** 🙄 known Chinese coal reserves(~130B tons), at current pace of ~3.5Billion tons/year and rising...  China is going to blow through 100% of  their reserves in 30+ years...  Or 60+ years depending on your "reserves" math. 

So, yes, Chinese imports of coal are going to massively rise.  Of course China will just start using less efficient brown coal of which they have gobs of. 

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9 hours ago, ceo_energemsier said:

China's 2019 coal imports set to rise more than 10%: analysts

 

 

BEIJING/MELBOURNE (Reuters) - China, the world's top coal buyer, is on track to boost imports of the fuel by more than 10% this year, traders and analysts said on Tuesday, countering earlier expectations that shipments would be capped by Beijing at the same level as 2018.

China's coal imports have already surged 9.5% in the first nine months of 2019 to 250.57 million tonnes, customs data shows, and at least 18.84 million tonnes of seaborne coal are due to arrive this month, according to vessel-tracking and port data compiled by Refinitiv.

With China typically bringing in about 7 million tonnes more a month on trucks and trains from Mongolia and Russia, total volumes are likely to reach 276 million tonnes well before the end of the year.

Last year's total was 281.23 million tonnes.

"Signs are emerging of a modest recovery in coal import volumes into China, which has led to recent market speculation that the Chinese government may allow a relatively modest uplift in annual imports to around 300 million tonnes," said Whitehaven Coal Ltd, Australia's largest independent coal producer, in a note on Tuesday.

Energy consultancy IHS Markit expects that China may bring in around 320 million tonnes of coal this year.

Some Singapore-based coal traders forecast Chinese coal imports could reach at least 305 million tonnes.

 

Graphic: China's monthly coal imports in 2015-2019, https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/ce/7/7014/6996/coal seasonality chart.png

 

The rise in imports comes even after Beijing has pledged to curb coal use to tackle persistent severe pollution in the world's top energy market.

Last year it took drastic measures to cap its shipments, halting all clearance of coal cargoes at major ports in December, which sent imports plunging to just 10 million tonnes that month, down from an average monthly level of 22 million tonnes.

"Government priority at this moment is to boost the economy ... Relaxing coal imports curb would help maintain a moderate coal price and therefore cut electricity prices in order to reduce energy costs for Chinese enterprises," said Liu Xiaomin, analyst at IHS Markit in Beijing.

Analysts and traders warned that the customs authorities could still take such action however, and said they are closely watching for any change in import policy.

 

"The market is full of uncertainties at this moment. We have to wait until at least the end of October to see if a new policy will come out," said a Beijing-based coal trader with a leading German power company.

IHS Markit's Liu also warned the import policy may be adjusted anytime based on coal prices and the economic situation in China.

Still, buyers have not slowed their purchases, thanks to a large spread between domestic and imported coal prices and increasing demand for the fuel ahead of northern China's heating season that kicks off next month, said three other traders with major power utilities and trading houses.

Port prices for Chinese thermal coal with energy content of 5,500 kilocalories per kilogramme (Kcal) were around 575 yuan ($81.25) a tonne on Monday, while Australian coal of the same quality was sold at $53 a tonne FOB.

 

 

The Chinese and the leaders of the worldwide environmental scam artists are the world's biggest hypocrites and are on opposite sides of the issue, but you rarely see China or any Asian nation criticised for the pollution they create and how little they do about it. Meanwhile America has the greatest progress beating pollution of any large nation and gets no credit for it. How have we done it? Mainly by switching from coal to natural gas. 

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2 minutes ago, ronwagn said:

you rarely see China or any Asian nation criticised for the pollution they create and how little they do about it.

This is exactly my point with the Greta gang mate. They protest where they feel comfy to do it but not China/India where nearly half the globe live? Huh?  So bored of hearing figures we need to work towards here in UK etc. 

 

 

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Yeah, you guys drive small cars and don't even have to commute very far. However you live on an Island and should be able to have concentric ovals to go wherever on trains. 

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3 hours ago, footeab@yahoo.com said:

According to *** 🙄 known Chinese coal reserves(~130B tons), at current pace of ~3.5Billion tons/year and rising...  China is going to blow through 100% of  their reserves in 30+ years...  Or 60+ years depending on your "reserves" math. 

So, yes, Chinese imports of coal are going to massively rise.  Of course China will just start using less efficient brown coal of which they have gobs of. 

This particular number 130 billion tons are Chinese coal reserves at the existing active  coal  mines. The actual reserves (not resources but reserves) per Chinese government data is 1750 billion tons. I think this second number is a little bloated but it is the right order of magnitude.

 

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How coal reserves are quantified precisely is a matter of Chinese mining law. For Poland we have reserves at existing mines 5 billion tons while total about 80 billion.

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9 minutes ago, Marcin said:

This particular number 130 billion tons are Chinese coal reserves at the existing active  coal  mines. The actual reserves (not resources but reserves) per Chinese government data is 1750 billion tons. I think this second number is a little bloated but it is the right order of magnitude.

 

That’s like saying ‘proven’ and ‘unproven’ reserves in the oil game. One is a supportable number, the other is fantasy.

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(edited)

Yep my favourite bit was how it's quantified is a matter of their law.

So ....  ''changeable''. 

Edited by DayTrader
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(edited)

11 minutes ago, Douglas Buckland said:

That’s like saying ‘proven’ and ‘unproven’ reserves in the oil game. One is a supportable number, the other is fantasy.

It is proven category per oil analogy. I will explain. For example10000 sites in China for coal mines. They develop 1000 sites as they need 4 billion tons capacity. Every year lets say 30 new sites developed in rotation. Please ask futher questions i will answer. Coal mining i know, oil extraction i am ignorant. 

Edited by Marcin
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When you open a new ‘site’, how do you calculate how much coal is recoverable from that site?

In the oil business you drill an exploration well to confirm oil is present in commercially recoverable volumes by testing the well and making rational assumptions based on pressures and flowrates. You then drill an appraisal well to confirm your assumptions. At this point, if all is well, you proceed to the development stage. These are termed ‘proven’ reserves. Unproven reserves have neither been drilled or tested and are simply assumed to exist based on geophysical and geological assumptions.

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9 hours ago, Douglas Buckland said:

When you open a new ‘site’, how do you calculate how much coal is recoverable from that site?

In the oil business you drill an exploration well to confirm oil is present in commercially recoverable volumes by testing the well and making rational assumptions based on pressures and flowrates. You then drill an appraisal well to confirm your assumptions. At this point, if all is well, you proceed to the development stage. These are termed ‘proven’ reserves. Unproven reserves have neither been drilled or tested and are simply assumed to exist based on geophysical and geological assumptions.

When you generate a prospect...

You drill holes, and match the maps of the test drill holes and the results of those holes that show the amount/type of coal in those cores, and compute the volume and convert from the mean thickness of the coal seam density to get the tonnage(s) and include the dilution factor, and the recovery factor based on the type of mining method to be deployed and the segments or areas of the coal mines or blocks are separated/designated for their economic values based on the above and inclusion of impurities and further calculate the economic value of the prospect among other financial and regulatory considerations.

 

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So I am supposing that China uses the same evaluation process which you described (thanks for that!), and knows how much coal, of what grade, they ‘have in the bank’.

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13 hours ago, Marcin said:

This particular number 130 billion tons are Chinese coal reserves at the existing active  coal  mines. The actual reserves (not resources but reserves) per Chinese government data is 1750 billion tons. I think this second number is a little bloated but it is the right order of magnitude.

Actually, if you only go from existing mines, the number is quite a bit less than my stated 130 tons from my very quick perusal.  It is why I threw out the 60 year number as the predicted coal reserves which mean by normal standards is thought to be a gigantic 260B tons or so.  Your 1750B tons.... I have never seen such a number.  Got a place to find this?  Thanks.  Does China have massive water logged "coal"(lignite)?  I can not see why not.  I know such reserves are not counted in the west(the low grade stuff not the higher), but they exist in vast quantities. 

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I have heard that Japan uses the best technology for clean coal combustion. How would China, India, and Third World nations compare on using clean technology? Are they making steady progress, or just pretending?

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Is that a trick question?

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21 minutes ago, ronwagn said:

I have heard that Japan uses the best technology for clean coal combustion. How would China, India, and Third World nations compare on using clean technology? Are they making steady progress, or just pretending?

Effective "clean coal" technology is extremely viable in the very near future, most clean coal techs do not get to the actual stage of removing the impurities , contaminants and the emissions from use of the upgraded coal. The race is on, the companies that can achieve that are going to be making billions while providing a low cost energy source (but then the cost of coal will go upto because it will be a much  a cleaner fuel to use)

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7 minutes ago, ceo_energemsier said:

Effective "clean coal" technology is extremely viable in the very near future, most clean coal techs do not get to the actual stage of removing the impurities , contaminants and the emissions from use of the upgraded coal. The race is on, the companies that can achieve that are going to be making billions while providing a low cost energy source (but then the cost of coal will go upto because it will be a much  a cleaner fuel to use)

My main concern about using "clean coal" is the disposal of the waste products. Particulates or waste are both big problems IMHO. I am only aware of anthracite, soft coal, brown coal (dirty), and peat. 

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6 minutes ago, ronwagn said:

My main concern about using "clean coal" is the disposal of the waste products. Particulates or waste are both big problems IMHO. I am only aware of anthracite, soft coal, brown coal (dirty), and peat. 

The removal/extraction of most of the heavy metals, sulphur and moisture, create streams of byproducts that are easily consumed in various industries, so that takes care of most of the "waste products" which would otherwise go into the environment as either particulates, vapor emissions, gas emissions and solid wastes that have to be buried or put into pits etc. Instead of waste products , they become marketable and usable products.

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