A surge of inflows has pushed coal stocks up to above 7 million tonnes at Qinhuangdao port, the barometer for China's domestic coal market, following the end of a 23-day maintenance to coal-dedicated Daqin rail line.
Sxcoal.com data shows Qinhuangdao port had 7.10 million tonnes of coal stocks on November 21, breaking the 7-million-tonne mark again after two weeks, a rise of 2.16% from a week ago.
The increase came was rail inflows increased in the past days, especially after the completion of maintenance to Daqin line on November 16.
On November 21, coal inflows into Qinhuangdao port by railway reached 624,000 tonnes, up 27.09% week on week. Compared with the large amounts of inflows, the port's outbound shipment stood at 534,000 tonnes on the day, only a 2.05% rise on the week.
The above figures reflect coal inflows was considerably higher than outflows at the port, a strong sign of sufficient coal supply in the winter heating season.
China has urged coal mines to boost production and transport to meet increased coal consumption during the winter heating season which will last from November to March.
Noting continuously rising coal consumption, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Spokeswoman Meng Wei warned recently that factors affecting stable coal supply still exist in the winter heating period.
"Ensuring the unleashing of advanced production capacity and further exploring transport capacity are the main measures to ensure a stable coal market in this winter," she said at a press conference on November 15.
The NDRC has made it a priority to ensure coal transport for key ports, major end users and regions, while strengthening monitoring and timely identifying and coordinating solving of crucial issues in production, transportation and demand.
Coal inflows to Qinhuangdao port increased over 17% as soon as Daqin line finished repairs, indicating enhanced rail capacity to cope with delivery challenge in the coming winter peak demand period.
This will also help stabilize domestic coal prices. Prices of thermal coal, used mainly for power generation, have showed signs of stabilizing in recent days. The Fenwei CCI index for the 5,500 Kcal/kg NAR thermal coal was assessed at 670 yuan/t FOB on November 21, steady on the day and down 3 yuan/t from a week ago. It was 38 yuan/t lower than the end of October.
Over January-October, Daqin line's coal shipment totaled 360 million tonnes, up 30.63% year on year. It transported 37.36 million tonnes of coal in October, growing 11.46% year on year, with daily transport averaging 1.21 million tonnes.
(Writing by Alex Guo Editing by Harry Huo)
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