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China's July thermal coal imports jump 20% on year: customs data

Singapore — China's July thermal coal imports, including lignite, jumped 20% from 20.44 million mt a year ago to 24.42 million mt, according to China customs data released Sunday.

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Month-on-month, China's thermal coal import volume was up by about 23% from 19.84 million mt in June, the data showed.

In July, volume of coking coal import stood at 7.75 million mt, up 18% month on month.

Market sources said that Chinese power utilities have been calling for tenders amid tightening import curbs.

"It might be even more difficult to import in Q4 as quota might be used up by then, so buyers are procuring earlier to avoid that situation," an East China-based trader said.

China imported 187 million mt of coal over January-July, including thermal and coking coal, up 7% year on year, the GAC data showed.

It imported a total of around 281 million mt of coal last year and market participants are expecting the country's custom authorities to keep this year's imports at similar levels.

-- Hui Min Lee, hui.min.lee@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Norazlina Jumaat, norazlina.jumaat@spglobal.com