QINHUANGDAO, Nov. 6 -- Coal stockpiles at China's top coal distribution center Qinhuangdao Port in Hebei province reached 7.97 million tons on November 4, near this year's high point of 8 million tons, but market analysts believe the figure may peak soon as outward shipments increase.
Coal prices at Qinhuangdao have also been slowly climbing.
Li Chaolin, an industry expert with the China Coal Transport and Distribution Association, said that the stock increase was mainly the result of inward shipment growth following the completion of maintenance on the Datong-Qinghuangdao railway and a substantial drop of outward shipment due to bad weather.
Stockpiles at the port topped the 5 million-ton alarming level on October 26.
Meanwhile, coal stockpiles at power plants have declined, with the coal stock of national mainstream thermal power plants standing at 28.977 million tons by November 1, 1.47 million tons less than on October 21.
The current brisk demand explains the increasing coal prices at the port despite the high stockpiles.
Li predicted that domestic coal prices would continue to be at high for the rest of 2009 if coal stocks peak soon.
Wang Shuai, an analyst with Orient Securities, predicts that with the coming of winter China's coal demand will maintain an upward trend.