BEIJING — China’s coal imports in July hit a record high in four and a half years as demand for coal-fired electricity increased during the summer, official data showed.
China imported 29 million tons of coal in July, up 49 percent year-on-year, the highest monthly volume since January 2014, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.
The value of imports surged 63 percent year-on-year to 17.9 billion yuan (about $2.6 billion) in July, the data showed.
China is promoting the use of clean energy to reduce its dependence on coal, but the latter still accounted for 60.4 percent of the country’s energy consumption in 2017. The share narrowed by 1.6 percentage points from the previous year.
Increased imports and port inventories kept a lid on coal prices. The Bohai-Rim Steam-Coal Price Index, the country’s benchmark power coal price, stood at 567 yuan per tonne for the week between Aug 1 and Aug 7, the same as the previous week.