BEIJING, Nov. 10 -- Coal prices at China's Qinhuangdao port, a benchmark in the world's biggest producer and user of the fuel, rose for the eighth straight week on winter heating demand, an industry association said.
The price of coal with an energy value of 5,500 kilocalories a kilogram gained 0.8 percent to between 630 yuan ($92) and 650 yuan in the week ended Nov. 9 compared with assessments in the previous week, according to data published by the China Coal Transport and Distribution Association today.
Stockpiles at the country's largest coal port rose at the fastest daily rate in three months in the week to Oct. 30, the association said in a report last month. China increased coal imports by 7 percent in September compared with August to meet rising domestic consumption following an economic recovery, customs data showed.
"The price increase is all seasonal. We're heading into the peak period for winter heating and the hydropower plants can't produce much," Wang Ye, the chief coal analyst with Citic Securities Ltd., said by telephone from Beijing today. Meteorologists induced China's earliest snowfall in 22 years over the Nov. 1 weekend to ease a lingering drought in the country's northern regions, state news agency Xinhua reported.
Coal stocks at Qinhuangdao rose to 6.53 million metric tons as of Oct. 30, up 1.96 million tons compared to Oct. 23, as ship loadings increased and railways improved on coal delivery to prevent supply disruptions at power plants, the association said in the report last month.