China’s coal imports in March fell 12.1 percent from a year ago, according to customs data released on Friday, as the country has enacted policies to slow imports of the fuel at various ports.
Coal imports last month were 23.48 million tonnes, up from February’s 17.64 million tonnes, the General Administration of Customs reported on Friday.
Reuters reported in February that the port of Dalian in northern China banned imports of Australian coal and multiple traders have said coal imports are slowing because of lengthy customs checks. This week, sources told Reuters that Beijing is seeking to cap coal imports this year at 2018 levels to support domestic producers.
“The curbs on Australian supplies have led to a fall in coking coal imports from the country,” said Zhang Min, a senior coal analyst with China Sublime Information Group.
For the first three months of 2018, coal supplies were at 74.63 million tonnes, down 1.8 percent from a year ago, the customs data showed.