China’s seaborne coal imports slumped 19% in October from September, but the world’s biggest buyer of the polluting fuel is still on track to record an unwanted annual increase.
Seaborne imports were 19.9 million tonnes in October, according to vessel-tracking and port data compiled by Refinitiv, down from September’s 24.5 million – the lowest monthly total of seaborne arrivals since February.
That shows Beijing’s aim of limiting 2019 imports to the same level as those in 2018 is having some effect. But even with the drop in October imports, China is well on track to comfortably exceed 2018’s total of 281.2 million tonnes.
Official customs data showed imports for the first nine months at 250.6 million tonnes, a gain of 9.5% over the same period in 2018.
Add the October seaborne imports of 19.9 million tonnes, plus around 7 million tonnes more in overland arrivals from Mongolia and Russia, and it’s likely that imports for the first 10 months of the year will be around 277 million tonnes.