Dec 15, 2020 07:38 PM

China’s Coal Imports Fall for the Seventh Straight Month

What’s new: China’s coal imports fell 43.8% year-on-year in November to 11.67 million tons, extending a six-month year-on-year decline since May, fresh data from the National Bureau of Statistics revealed on Tuesday.

The total amount of imported coal for the first 11 months of the year was 260 million tons, down by 10.8% from the same period in 2019.

What’s the background: The primary reasons for the decline are thought to be the slow rate coal at which has been allowed to enter the country, in particular from Mongolia, due to Covid-19, as well as restrictions on coal imports from Australia.

Coal consulting company Fenwei Digital Information Technology Co. Ltd. said on Friday that a driver tested positive for Covid-19 the day before at a customs checkpoint on the border of China and Mongolia, which resulted in the suspension of the coal entering the country.

Australia’s Minister for Finance Simon Birmingham said in an interview with Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio on Tuesday that a number of vessels loaded with Australian coal have been sitting off the Chinese coast for a while, and warned that if the Chinese government bans the coal from entering China it will be a breach of World Trade Organization rules.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.

Contact reporter Lu Yutong ( and editor Marcus Ryder (

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