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China's coal imports climb 15.6% amid summer restocking by power plants

China'scoal import rose 15.6% to 19.69 million tonnes in March as power plants aim tostock up in advance of the peak summer consumption period, Reuters reportedApril 12 citing the country's customs authority.

Accordingto the report, Analyst Zhang Xiaojin of Everbright Futures presumed therecovery to continue through April and May, and associated it to the increasein domestic prices.

Onthe other hand, analysts are bearishabout the long-term improvement of coal demand. "After one or two months,buying by power plants is likely to slow, and the price trends at that pointwill depend on upstream capacity cuts and whether small-scale mines will berestructured," Reuters quoted analyst Wang Fei of China's Huaan Futures assaying.

Duringthe first quarter, imports fell 1.2% year-over-year to 48.46 million tonnes,according to the General Administration of Customs, while overall imports in2015 plunged 29.9% amid the domestic supply glut and weakening demand, said thereport.