Customs authorities in eastern China’s Shandong province have tightened restrictions on imported coal, market participants said, following moves by major ports in northern China such as Jingtang and Caofeidian to curb traders’ cargoes earlier this week.
Traders’ unsold cargoes are being prevented from clearing through Qingdao and Rizhao customs in the coastal province of Shandong. But traders can still unload their cargoes in Qingdao and Rizhao if those cargoes are cleared through customs in regions where their companies are registered, officials at two trading firms sold Argus.
Imported cargoes booked by local consumers, including power plants, are not affected.
Shandong imported 4.53mn t of coal in January-May, up from 4.40mn t in the same period last year. The province received 12.68mn t in 2018 as a whole, customs data show.
Elsewhere, cargoes imported to south China’s Guangxi region — which has allowed only cargoes booked by consumers to offload since late last year — have to undergo an extra document review before they can be offloaded. The extra checks started earlier this month and take about 7-8 days, increasing costs for traders. One trader, who often imports thermal coal into the region, attributed the delays in offloading to the limited import quotas available.
Coal imports into Guangxi totalled 11.26mn t in the first five months of this year, up from 8.82mn t in the same period last year and close to full-year 2018 receipts of 12.5mnt.
Caofeidian port in Hebei Province has frozen customs declarations for all imported coal with effect from 16 July.
And similar restrictions have been imposed at Jingtang port, which is also in Hebei. More importantly, Jingtang provides an alternative solution for traders to offload cargoes by allowing them to discharge seaborne cargoes and sell them off at the portside. Both Caofeidian and Jingtang mainly import coking coal.
China’s total coal imports increased by 5.8pc to 27.1mn t in January-June, according to customs data. The customs authority will not disclose a breakdown by customs regions until later this month.
- On July 22, 2019