Coal stocks at China's benchmark Qinhuangdao port edged down, as inbound arrivals, which already held low due to mines' low output and tight rail capacity, were further curtailed by the government's recent price control measure.
On February 7, the port had 6.25 million tonnes of coal stocks, dropping for the 14 consecutive day, 11.9% lower than the recent high of 7.15 million tonnes on January 23, showed data from industry portal sxcoal.com.
The volume of coal railed to Qinhuangdao port reached 553,000 on average each day in the first week of January, 7.8% lower than the previous month, data showed.
Chinese utilities posted a fast increase in coal burns entering February. Data showed that daily coal burns at coastal power plants of six major power companies have been staying above 800,000 tonnes since the beginning of February, while their coal stocks were only enough to cover less than 10 days.
The port shipped out 620,000 tonnes of coal averagely each day in the first week of January, up 6.9% from the previous week.
As for other ports, Huanghua port had 2.22 million tonnes of coal stocks on February 7, down 0.9% from the preceding week.
High demand has driven up spot prices of thermal coal traded at northern China ports. The Fenwei CCI Thermal index for domestic 5,500 Kcal/kg NAR was assessed at 750 yuan/t on February 6, flat month on month.
To curb too fast price growth, NDRC, the nation's top economic planner, ordered authorities with Qinhuangdao port to report to it once finding above-750 yuan/t 5,500 Kcal/kg NAR coal, and it would take according measures to ensure no such supply flows into and traded at the port.
(Writing by William Gao Editing by Harry Huo)
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