Daqin railway, China's leading coal-dedicated rail line connecting Datong City of coal-rich Shanxi province with northern Qinhuangdao port, hauled 351.25 million tonnes of coal during 2016, down 11.52% from 2015, said a statement released by Daqin Railway Co., Ltd on January 10.
In December, Daqin line transported 38.41 million tonnes of coal, rising 2.18% month on month and 16.68% year on year.
Daqin has always played an irreplaceable role in delivering coal from main production bases – Shanxi, Shaanxi, west Inner Mongolia -- to Qinhuangdao port; while its market share has been greatly squeezed since 2015, and the condition worsened with the operation of Zhunchi railway line (Zhunger, Inner Mongolia – Shenchi, Shanxi).
In 2015, Daqin transported a total 396.99 million tonnes of coal, down 11.82% from 2014. By contrast, Shuohuang railway, China's second largest coal-dedicated rail line from Shenchi County in Shanxi province to Huanghua port in Hebei province, transported 217.25 million tonnes of coal with the commission of Zhunchi line.
Coal transport via Daqin line has improved since October 2016, when the National Development and Reform Commission put forward directive to boost coal stockpiles at Qinhuangdao port and ensure coal supplies for winter heating demand.
Under the directive, Taiyuan Railway Administration allocated more rail wagons to ensure daily coal transport of 1.25 million tonnes during non-maintenance days in November and December, aiming to move 8,000-9,000 wagons of coal each day to Qinhuangdao port.
China's leading miners, including Datong Coal Mine Group, China National Coal Group, Shenhua Group and Yitai Group among others, have considered increasing coal shipment via Daqin to Qinhuangdao next year, which may spur a growth in its whole-year transport volume.
Coal transport of Daqin is forecast to increase more than 30 million tonnes in 2017, and coal shipments at Qinhuangdao may also increase.
(Writing by Evie Feng Editing by Harry Huo)
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