SHANGHAI, June 21 -- Spot prices for thermal coal in Qinhuangdao, China's top coal port, remain unchanged from a week earlier, with demand set to remain stable despite the arrival of summer, traditionally marked by high coal and power consumption.
"Prices in southern ports are stable. The peak season doesn't look very busy, just as the previous slack season was not very sluggish," said a Guangdong-based trader.
Coal with a calorific value of 5,800 kcal/kg (NAR) was quoted in the range of 780 to 790 yuan per tonne. Coal with a calorific value of 5,500 kcal/kg was between 750 and 760 yuan, according to Qinhuangdao Seaborne Coal Market (www.cqcoal.com).
"This summer we probably won't see severe coal and power shortages as restrictions on energy-intensive industries may slow their power demand," said Judy Zhu, an analyst at Standard Chartered based in Shanghai.
The return of hydropower generation following a drought a southwestern China also helped ease demand for thermal power in some regions, Zhu added.
In May, thermal power generation declined 2 percent from a month earlier and hydropower jumped 34.2 percent, while total power generation grew 2.7 percent, official statistics showed. [ID:nAPI000624]
Coal stocks at major power plants rose 4 percent from a week earlier to nearly 54 million tonnes on Wednesday, enough for 17 days of consumption, up from 16 days a week earlier, according to data compiled by Zhongneng Power Industry Fuel Co and published on sxcoal.com.
In Qinhuangdao, coal stocks were down 3.5 percent from a week earlier to 6.3 million tonnes on Thursday.