China Coal-Price ascent stalls as shortages ease

Spot thermal coal prices in Qinhuangdao, China's top coal-shipping port, held steady from a week earlier, halting a four-month rise as improving weather conditions eased coal and power shortages.
Source:chemnet     Time:28 Jan 2010
 SHANGHAI, Jan 26 - Spot thermal coal prices in Qinhuangdao, China's top coal-shipping port, held steady from a week earlier, halting a four-month rise as improving weather conditions eased coal and power shortages.

Coal stockpiles in the country's major power plants rose 4 percent from last Wednesday to 23 million tonnes on Sunday, enough for 9 days of consumption, according to industry information website sxcoal.com.

"The rally is probably over by now. We'll probably see coal prices stablise, and a sharp fall is quite unlikely," said Martin Wang, an analyst at Guotai Junan Securities, adding that power demand is expected to fall in February due to reduced industrial activity.

Many factories close shop around the one-week Lunar New Year holiday, which falls in mid-February this year, when workers return to their hometowns for celebration.

Prices of coal with calorific value of 5,800 kcal/kg (NAR) were unchanged from a week earlier at 840 yuan to 850 yuan ($123.1 - $124.5) a tonne, after having risen, according to the Qinhuangdao Seaborne Coal Market (www.cqcoal.com).

Coal with calorific value of 5,500 kcal/kg was quoted in the range of 800 yuan to 810 yuan, it also said.

China's National Energy Agency expected coal supply tightness to ease when production returns to normal after the Lunar New Year holiday.

It also forecast that the country's coal output this year will grow by 5 percent, compared with a 12.7-percent growth in 2009. ($1=6.826 Yuan)
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