BEIJING: China’s coking coal imports from Australia slumped 21 percent in February from a year earlier as traders reported lengthy checks on Australian cargoes at several ports.
Australian supplies were at 1.16 million tonnes last month, according to data released by the General Administration of Customs on Monday, compared to 1.47 million tonnes in February 2018.
Traders have cut purchases of both thermal and metallurgical coal from Australia as customs official have been carrying out quality checks on Australian supplies that have lasted as long as two months at northern China ports such as Dalian and southern ports like the Fangchenggang.
For the first two months of 2019, combined, numbers showed Australian coal imports rose 27 percent from the same period a year earlier, to 5.49 million tonnes.
That reflected a flurry of shipments being accepted in January after being subject to customs clearance delays in December.