Combined coal stocks held by China's six leading power generators in southern and eastern coastal areas now are enough to cover more than 20 days of use on average, as their daily consumption further dropped recently.
Data from sxcoal.com showed their coal stockpiles increased 21.18% from the beginning of October to 12.36 million tonnes on November 2, the highest since August. The upward trend has been sustained since mid-October.
On November 2, the six generators' daily coal burning fell into f 494,000 tonnes, the lowest since February 10, down 30.23% from the beginning of October.
Coal demand from power plants has been lackluster during October, partly due to tumbled daily consumption. Sxcoal.com data showed daily consumption of the six generators continued to fall in October, down to 515,000 tonnes on October 31 from the month's high of 734,000 tonnes on October 12 to, a tumble of more than 29.8%.
To some extent, high stocks and poor consumption have slowed their restocking effort for the power generation fuel. This was an epitome of the overall waning demand in the market, partly explaining poor sales at northern ports.
Coal handling volume at Qinhuangdao port shrank by 53.3% from a week ago to only 323,000 tonnes on October 31. The number of vessels expected to arrive at the port averaged 6.25 vessels in October 28-31, declining 66.8% from 18.8 vessels on October 23-27.
However, the market demand is likely to pick up gradually in November, as winter heating starts in northern China. Jilin and Heilongjiang have started winter heating last week, and more other provinces will start this week.
(Writing by Alex Guo Editing by Harry Huo)
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