China Power-Station Coal Price Rebounding From Five-Year Low

China’s power-station coal prices rebounded from the lowest level in more than five years as the nation’s largest railway for transporting the fuel curtailed shipments because of maintenance.

Spot coal with an energy value of 5,500 kilocalories per kilogram at the port of Qinhuangdao, China’s benchmark grade, increased to an average of 535 yuan ($86.10) a metric ton as of yesterday, according to data from the China Coal Transport and Distribution Association. That’s the first weekly gain this year and up from last week’s 530 yuan/ton, the lowest level since December 2008, according to CCTD figures tracked by Bloomberg.

Daqin Railway, which carries a third of China’s rail deliveries of coal, started 24 days of maintenance on April 6, cutting daily shipments by about 18 percent, CCTD said April 4. The line links coal-producing Datong city with Qinhuangdao port. The benchmark price for the world’s largest coal user is set to rebound from a “bottom” this month and trade around current levels through the second quarter, according to Winston Han, an analyst with CCTD.

“The Daqin maintenance accounts for part of the recovery,” Han said by phone today. “But overall, the price has reached its bottom. Last week, the spot price was bid between 510 and 520 yuan a ton at Qinhuangdao, and it may just rebound steadily by 10 to 15 yuan and stay put throughout this month and next,” he said.

— With assistance by Sarah Chen

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