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China Benchmark Spot Coal Price Drops First Time in Three Months

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Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Benchmark power-station coal prices in China fell for the first time in more than three months as stockpiles gained and the nation’s largest producer of the fuel cut rates.

Coal with an energy value of 5,500 kilocalories a kilogram at Qinhuangdao, the country’s biggest shipping port for the fuel, slid to a range of 595 yuan ($98.30) to 605 yuan a metric ton as of yesterday, the China Coal Transport and Distribution Association reported today. That’s the first weekly decline since Sept. 22, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Inventories at the port rose 16 percent from a week earlier to 5.6 million tons.

“Factories will gradually halt production, cutting power demand from the industrial sector” before Chinese New Year holidays, which start Jan. 31, CCTD said in the report on its website. “Lower demand and the arrival of coal imports will further curb domestic coal prices this month.”

Companies including Shenhua Group Corp., the country’s biggest producer, and China Coal Energy Co. have cut prices for January, the official Xinhua news agency reported Jan. 3.

Coal may average 570 yuan a ton this year, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of five analysts.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Jing Yang in Shanghai at jyang251@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Pratish Narayanan at pnarayanan9@bloomberg.net

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