Reuters citing, a leading industry analyst, as saying China’s thermal coal imports will decline by between 10 million and 12 million tonnes in 2019, largely because of rising domestic output in the world’s top producer and consumer. Mr Rodrigo Echeverri, head of hard commodities at trader Noble Group, told an industry conference in Shanghai, China’s coal output will increase from the second quarter of 2019, reducing its reliance on overseas supplies. Echeverri said he expected a drop in thermal coal imports this year of 11 percent from 2018 volumes to 197 million tonnes, with the reduction hitting top supplier Australia the hardest.
Wang Hongqiao, vice president of China National Coal Association, said earlier at the same event, China is set to produce an additional 100 million tonnes of coal this year. Wang said “Coal demand for power generation in China will increase but the growth rate of general coal consumption will slow down,” leading to a glut of the fuel and “severely disrupting” the market.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China produced 4 billion tonnes of coal in 2018. It also added 194 million tonnes in mine capacity that year, despite promising to cut excess capacity for the sector.
According to statements issued by the National Development and Reform Commission, the state planner has also approved at least 12 new coal mining projects with a combined annual capacity of 29.5 million tonnes since the beginning of 2019.