Chinese coal terminals facing shortage of space with increased imports

Chamber of Shipping > Blog > News > International > Chinese coal terminals facing shortage of space with increased imports

Recent heavy rainfall and increased hydropower production in China have led to overflowing coal terminals along the Chinese coastline, posing logistical challenges for coal imports. According to analysts at broker BRS, port storage capacities are strained, exacerbated by a 12.6% year-on-year increase in coal imports to 205 million tonnes during the first five months of the year. This surge comes amid a contraction in Chinese coal production, down 3% compared to the same period last year, resulting in a buildup of coal inventories reaching 162 million tonnes. The congestion at ports, such as Lianyungang and Guangzhou, has caused delays for vessels awaiting coal discharge, with some ships anchoring for up to two weeks. Despite the challenges, coal traders are anticipating price increases as summer approaches, traditionally a period of heightened electricity demand due to air conditioning use. Looking ahead, while the current congestion could tighten vessel supply in the Pacific and support freight levels in the short term, the buildup of coal stockpiles may dampen seaborne market demand in the latter half of the year.

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