Dec. 16 (Platts) -- China's coal supply and demand are expected to be in balanced in 2012, although sporadic shortages may occur, the country's top policy maker, the National Development and Reform Commission, said in a notice Thursday.
In mid-June this year, deputy director of China's National Energy Administration, Wei Pengyuan, had also said coal supply and demand from the second half of 2011 onwards would be balanced. He had also expected a slight excess in supply, as around 100 million mt/year of new coal mining capacity was slated to come on stream by the end of 2011.
Meanwhile in the Thursday notice, the NDRC reiterated its November 30 directive that up to 5% year on year rise will be allowed for contract coal prices in 2012, with a view to stabilizing the domestic coal market.
NDRC has also earmarked railroad wagons, with a combined transportation capacity of 834.6 million mt, for cross-provincial coal transportation in 2012, down from 932 million mt in 2011 and 906.5 million mt in 2010.
Medium and long-term coal supply contracts will be given priority while allocating the rail wagons.
Of the 834.6 million mt of railing capacity, 775.06 million mt will be for power coal in 2012, slightly up from 769 million mt in 2011; 28.74 million mt will be for coal used in the fertilizer sector, down from 34.84 million mt in 2011; and 30.80 million mt will be for household-use coal, down from 33.63 million mt in 2011.
As in 2011, NDRC has also directed that annual coal supply contracts between coal miners and coal consuming companies should be submitted on the official website of CCTDA (http://www.cctd.com.cn).