SHANGHAI, June 25 -- Spot thermal coal prices in China's top coal port Qinhuangdao remained at the same level as a week earlier, while coal stocks at China's major power plants hit their highest this year.
Prices for coal with calorific value of 5,800 kcal/kg (NAR) stood at 780 yuan to 790 yuan ($114.5 - $116) a tonne, unchanged since early June. Coal with calorific value of 5,500 kcal/kg was quoted in the range of 750 to 760 yuan, according to industry data website sxcoal.com.
"The rising hydropower generation takes off some demand for coal-fired power. Port stocks remain high, and we don't have a clear picture of what will happen next month," said a coal trader based in the southern province of Guangdong.
Coal stocks at the country's major power plants rose to a comfortable level sufficient for 18 days of consumption by June 20, the highest so far this year, according to data compiled by Zhongneng Power Industry Fuel Co and published on sxcoal.com.
Traders and analysts said the chances for severe power and coal shortages this summer would be slim, as measures taken by the government to curb overheated economic growth are expected to help slow down demand for power.
Power consumption in heavy industry accounted for nearly two thirds of total power consumption in May, according to data from the National Energy Administration.
China's power output in May grew 18.9 percent on the year, slightly down from a 21.4 percent rise in the previous month, official statistics showed.
Coal stocks in Qinhuangdao fell 5 percent from a week earlier to just below 6 million tonnes on June 23, port data showed.
Australia's thermal coal prices retreated from a one-month high of more than $100 a tonne touched last week, as market players worried about China's demand for imported coal in the third quarter. ($1=6.811 Yuan)