(Yicai Global) Aug. 15 -- China's coal imports grew last month to the highest since January 2014, caused by a surge in demand during the hot summer month, while pollution-related bans limit local production.
China's coal imports grew 49 percent to 29 million tons as compared with last year, data from the National Bureau of Statistics show. From January to July, China imported 170 million tons of coal, up 15 percent from the year before.
The main reason may be the surging demand for electricity due to the scorching weather, Hu Min, a researcher at the National School of Administration, told local news outlet the Economic View. Due to China's restrictions on coal production, there has been a large amount of imported coal, added Hu.
In the first quarter, many firms signed coal import contracts worth huge amounts of money with some major coal exporting countries, including Indonesia, Vietnam, and Australia, said Xing Lei, director of the Research Center for Coal Listed Companies at the Central University of Finance and Economics.
Hordes of ships loaded with coal from foreign exporters flocked to China's ports to unload their cargo during the same month, which brought enormous inventory pressure for domestic ports, Xing added.
Editor: Emmi Laine