Coal stocks have been going up recently at China's Bohai-rim ports, showed data from industry portal sxcoal.com.
Currently, both daily coal rail inflows and outflows averaged around 1.75 million tonnes at Bohai-rim ports. Daqin line, connecting top2 production provinces Shanxi and Inner Mongolia with Qinhuangdao and other ports, keeps daily coal transport above 1.3 million tonnes.
On January 12, coal stocks totaled 6.95 million tonnes at Qinhuangdao port, a barometer for Chinese domestic spot coal market and largest terminal for coal from northern production bases to the east and south.
That was 450,000 tonnes higher than the stock level on January 1, and rising for eight consecutive days since January 5, data showed.
However, spot coal supply remained tight at ports as most of the stocks were supplies directly from miners to power producers guaranteed by long-term supply contracts.
On one hand, the current supply crunch comes with surging demand from thermal power plants in the east and south, where temperature slumped quickly after hit by rainfalls and snowfalls.
On the other hand, there are not many wagons left for spot cargoes, as most of them were sent to deliver long-term cargoes with priority.
It's forecast the temperature will remain freezing in the short run, which means coal demand for households heating purpose will remain robust.
Industrial coal demand, however, may be the key factor for the price trend to go down before and during the Chinese Lunar New Year, which lasts over February 15-21.
(Writing by Alex Guo Editing by Tammy Yang)
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