China is likely to limit annual coal imports to 200m to 300m tonnes, suggesting that shipments so far in 2019 could slow in the last two months and cap expectations for the next few years.
Yang xianfeng, head of the China coal transport and marketing association, told a conference in Shanghai on Saturday that this level of imports was needed to replenish domestic miners and maintain a balance of trade with exporting countries. China last exceeded the limit in 2013, but this year the expectation is that after 276m tonnes of goods in the first 10 months of the year, it could reach 300m tonnes again, partly because of lower prices overseas.
"We will maintain a certain level of imports, but we also don't want to import too much," he said at an event during the Shanghai import expo. "The goal is to ensure balance between domestic supply and demand and balance global trade."
In fact, there have been occasional rumors of China restricting coal imports, with foreign purchases of about 281 million metric tons in 2018, and in the last few weeks of the year, China has almost completely halted imports.
"The short-term decline in the coal market will not affect the overall stable trend," Mr Yang said.
Weak coal prices in Indonesia, China's largest supplier, also underscore this. Indonesia now expects to produce more than 500m tonnes of coal this year, exceeding its target of 489m tonnes.
Indonesia coal association (IndonesiaCoalMiningAssociation) hendra, executive director of cinnamon dia (HendraSinadia) at the meeting said: "this will bring the already the excess supply of shipping market pressure", and the concern about the government coal mine in Jakarta. （From LGMI)