With there just being half of 2020 to go and amid a resurgence of cases around the world, Fastmarkets takes a look at the key factors to look out for in the market.
1. China’s import window
China has been imposing non-tariff import restrictions on imported metallurgical coal since 2017 as part of its supply-side reforms. This is adjusted according to demand and supply of domestic coal.
Market participants told Fastmarkets that the country’s National Development & Reform Commission (NDRC) had prescribed in early 2020 that this year’s total imports of coal (both thermal and metallurgical) should not exceed those in 2017. China imported some 69 million tonnes of coal that year.
But China already imported nearly 21 million tonnes of coking coal in the first quarter of 2020 - 30% of the prescribed total imports for the year. Coking coal cargoes booked in late 2019 also only arrived in China at the...