Nov 16, 2011 -- China’s coal imports fell 18 percent in October from the previous month after an increase in stockpiles at power plants, according to the China Coal Transport and Distribution Association.
China, the world’s biggest coal consumer, imported 15.7 million metric tons of the fuel last month, the association said in a statement on its website today, citing the General Administration of Customs. That was 28 percent higher than a year earlier. The customs bureau is scheduled to release official October coal import data Nov. 21.
The nation bought record amounts of coal in September to replenish inventories at heating plants and power stations and to meet winter demand. Power generation, which is more than 70 percent fueled by coal, fell to the lowest in eight months in October.
Stockpiles at China’s largest power stations rose 6.3 million tons from the end of September to 70.9 million tons as of Oct. 18, the equivalent of 20 days of consumption, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.
The nation’s industrial production growth of 13.2 percent last month was the least in a year and missed economists’ median estimate of 13.4 percent. Factories consume more than 70 percent of the nation’s electricity.