China’s coking coal imports from Australia in February slumped 21 percent from a year earlier as lengthy customs checks on Australian cargoes at several ports delayed their arrival into the country.
Australian imports 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 Chinese ports such as Dalian and southern ports including Fangchenggang.
For the first two months of 2019, Australian coal imports rose 27 percent from the same period a year earlier, to 5.49 million tonnes, according to the customs data. That reflected a flurry of shipments being accepted in January after being subject to customs clearance delays in December.
Imports of Mongolian coking coal jumped 47 percent to 1.43 million tonnes in February from a year earlier, as Chinese buyers shifted to alternative suppliers, the data showed.
Arrivals from Russia, however, fell 31 percent from February last year to 191,966 tonnes.