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China Coal Falls to Lowest Price in Three Years; Stockpiles Drop

Power-station coal at China’s biggest shipping port for the fuel fell to the lowest price in more than three years. Stockpiles dropped to a five-month low as a railway for delivering the fuel conducts maintenance.

Coal with an energy value of 5,500 kilocalories a kilogram at Qinhuangdao slid to a range of 605 yuan ($97.88) to 615 yuan a ton as of yesterday, the least since Oct. 12, 2009, data from the China Coal Transport and Distribution Association showed today. Inventories declined 15 percent from a week earlier to 5.82 million metric tons, the lowest since November,

The Daqin railway, which links Shanxi province and Qinhuangdao and carries a third of China’s train deliveries of coal, is conducting maintenance from April 13 to May 7. The work affects the transport of 290,000 tons of the fuel a day, according to the association.

China’s coal output in the first quarter dropped 1 percent from a year earlier to 830 million tons as consumption slowed, China Coal News reported April 17, citing the China Coal Industry Association. The country’s coal use in the first three months rose 1.5 percent to 910 million tons, it said.

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