China's coal imports plunged 19% in November from the previous month as tighter customs regulations curbed overseas shipments.
The world's top coal importer brought in 20.78 million tonnes of the fuel last month, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on December 8. That compares with 19.15 million tonnes in November last year, an 8.5% increase.
Customs officials have halted clearance for overseas coal cargoes since late October when domestic coal was oversupplied and caused a straight fall in prices at northern transfer ports. Some ports were also said to have suspended vessel discharge.
In the first 11 months of 2019, the country's coal imports totaled 299.3 million tonnes, rising 10.2% from the same period a year ago, which has already exceeded 2018's total shipments of 281.2 million tonnes.
Value of November's imports declined 2.51% on the year to $1.6 billion, based on which the average import price was $76.97/t, down $8.69/t from November 2018.
Falling profit margins also discouraged coal miners of Indonesia and Australia, the two China's major coal seaborne suppliers, from shipping coal to the country last month.
Year-to-date value declined 2.6% to $23.4 billion, the GAC said.
(Writing by Alex Guo Editing by Harry Huo)
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