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China’s benchmark power coal price edges down

Updated: Feb 21,2018 10:23 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China’s benchmark power coal price went down slightly during the past week partly due to shrinking demand from coal-fired power plants.

The Bohai-Rim Steam-Coal Price Index, a gauge of coal prices in northern China’s major ports published weekly, dropped to 575 yuan (around $90) per ton from 576 yuan a week ago, according to Qinhuangdao Ocean Shipping Coal Trading Market Co Ltd.

The price was also lower than the 587 yuan in the same period last year.

Power coal prices had been rising during the past weeks because of surging seasonal demand until the week-long Spring Festival holiday curbed coal use.

Daily coal consumption of six major coastal power plants dropped to around 470,000 tons, marking a 45-percent drop from the peak since the beginning of the year.

Analysts said stable coal production and rising imports also helped drag down prices. China imported 27.81 million tons of coal in January, up 22.3 percent from the previous month.

China is in the middle of capacity cuts in the coal and steel sectors. Last year’s annual targets to slash steel capacity by around 50 million tons and coal by at least 150 million tons were fulfilled in August and October, respectively.