China’s September coal imports from Russia soared 83 percent from a year ago while arrivals from Australia rose 33.6 percent amid restocking demand from utilities in the northeast of the country ahead of winter.
Shipments from Russia COA-RUCN-IMP reached 2.35 million tonnes last month, just below the imports of 2.47 million tonnes in August, according to the data from the General Administration of Customs released.
The high level of imports came after some operators of coal-fired power plants in Heilongjiang province issued a plea to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) asking for help with securing coal supplies.
Thermal coal prices on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange soared to a record of 658.6 yuan ($99.30) a tonne on Sept.19, encouraging traders and utilities to find cheaper alternatives from foreign miners.
The country imported a total of 27.08 million tonnes of coal in September, highest since December 2014, as Beijing’s rigorous safety and environmental inspections across the country curbed output at domestic miners.