Chinese council predicts tight coal supply to end-2010
Singapore, 29 April (Argus) — Chinese domestic thermal coal supply in the next three-quarters of this year is likely to remain tight, according to industry association the China Electricity Council.
Stocks at China's key coal port of Qinhuangdao have fallen steadily throughout April to 4.6mn t today from 8.16mn t in March.
The main factors affecting supply are the ongoing consolidation of mines, safety programmes that could impact negatively on production, limited rail transportation and increased demand for coal as drought curtails hydropower generation.
Coal shortages in central and southwestern China may force power generators to suspend operations, the council has warned.
China consumed about 970bn kWh of power in the first quarter, about 24pc more than a year earlier. This was largely the result of increased demand from heavy industries as they recovered from the economic crisis and a cold snap throughout most of the country.
Chinese consumption is expected to reach 3,970bn KWh this year, up by 9pc on the year, according to the council.
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