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China's Oct coal imports down 17.4% on year at 20.13 mil mt


China's coal imports, including lignite, thermal and metallurgical coal, totaled 20.13 million mt in October, down 17.4% on year, preliminary data released Saturday by the General Administration of Customs showed.

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October imports were down 4.9% from September, but up 6.7% from the 23-month low of 18.86 million mt seen in August.

China's National Development and Reform Commission in August asked major power utilities to sharply reduce coal imports for the remainder of the year as it looked to balance an oversupplied domestic market and boost domestic coal prices.

The value of the imports was $1.49 billion in October, down 27.6% year on year and down 1.8% on month.

That translates to an average price of $74.07/mt, down $11.46/mt from a year earlier but up $2.28/mt from the month before, Fenwei Energy reported, citing the customs data.

Over January-October, China imported a total 243 million mt of coal, down 7.7% year on year, with the total value of the imports falling 20.6% over the same period to $18.83 billion, Fenwei reported.

China exported 490,000 mt of coal in October, up 22.5% year on year and up 11.4% from the month before.

The value of the October exports was $55.75 million, edging down 0.14% year on year but up 12.13% from September.

Over January-October, total exports stood at 4.86 million mt, down 23% from a year earlier, with the total value plunging 33.8% over the same period $596.7 million, Fenwei reported.

Fenwei Energy is a leading provider of coal market information in China.

--Deepak Kannan,
--Edited by Wendy Wells,