General Administration of Customs data showed that China’s coal imports rebounded in December 2020 after sliding for nine consecutive months. China imported 39.075 million tonnes of coal in December 2020, up by 27.404 million tonnes MoM & up by 36.303 million tonnes YoY. In 2020, China imported 303.991 million tonnes of coal in 2020, up 1.5% YoY.
Chinese authorities had been imposing an unofficial quota policy aimed at maintaining coal imports at the same level as previous years in a bid to shore up the domestic mining industry. However, frigid weather and robust manufacturing activity led to a surge in power consumption at a time when fuel inventories at utilities had fallen to an alarmingly low level.