China Thermal Coal Price Falls on Demand; Port Stockpiles Surge

China’s benchmark power-station coal price fell for the third week as stockpiles at Qinhuangdao port rose the most in six months on slowing demand.

Coal with an energy value of 5,500 kilocalories per kilogram slid 0.6 percent to a range of 765 yuan ($121) to 775 yuan a metric ton as of yesterday compared with a week earlier, according to data from the China Coal Transport and Distribution Association today. Inventories at the port, which delivers half the nation’s seaborne supplies, rose 15 percent to 7.43 million tons, the biggest percentage increase since November 20.

Chinese demand for coal, which fuels three quarters of the nation’s power plants, has slowed as the economy cools and curbs electricity consumption. International prices will stay under pressure until seasonal demand increases next quarter in China, where imports are being deferred amid the high stockpiles, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. said in a report today.

China’s power generation rose 0.7 percent in April from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said May 11. That was down from 7.2 percent in March and the slowest pace of growth in three years for a non-Lunar New Year month.

Coal stockpiles at the nation’s biggest utilities rose to the equivalent of 26 days of consumption as of May 20, compared with 16 days a year earlier, according to the association.