Increased tariffs will not affect China's coal trade


Industry News

The escalation of the Sino-US trade friction has gradually revealed its impact on China's foreign trade. Industry insiders believe that because China's coal imports from the United States account for a relatively low share of total coal imports, the Sino-US trade friction has limited impact on China's coal trade.

"From January to December 2017, China imported a total of 271 million tons of coal. In terms of coal type, it imported 187,813,600 tons of thermal coal, imported 69,989,300 tons of coking coal, and imported 13,408,800 tons of anthracite. In terms of different countries, the import volume was the top The five source countries are Indonesia, Australia, Mongolia, Russia, and the Philippines, with imports of 109 million tons, 80.05 million tons, 33,988,400 tons, 28,074,500 tons, and 5.543 million tons. The amount of coal imported from other countries, including the United States, is very small. The main variety is coking coal, and other bituminous coals are negligible." Coal analyst Chen Xiaohan said that data in the first quarter of this year showed that China imported 416,000 tons of coal from the United States, accounting for 0.55% of all coal imports. Among them, US coal imports are mainly coking bituminous coal and a small amount of other bituminous coal.

Recently, the United States announced a list of 25% tariffs on US$16 billion of Chinese imports. In response, the Chinese government has taken countermeasures, imposing tariffs ranging from 25%, 20%, 10%, and 5% on approximately US$60 billion of goods originating in the United States.

Chen Xiaohan believes that the increase in tariffs will have a greater impact on the price of imported US coal. Coupled with factors such as the long transportation time of US coal and the generally high sulphur content of coal, the cost of US coal exports to China will be further increased, compared with other countries importing coal. The gap between China and the United States will be further widened, and it will not have market competitiveness in many aspects such as price. American coal may gradually withdraw from the Chinese imported coal market.

Since US coal has a very low share of China's imported coal market, it will not have a significant impact on the supply and demand of China's coal market.

It is worth noting that China's coal exports have only remained at a low level of 10 million tons for many years. "Chinese coal is mainly exported to South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan, China and other Asian countries and regions where coal resources are scarce. In 2017, coal exports were only 8 million tons, and exports accounted for a small proportion. Among them, the amount of coal exported to the United States in 2017 was still Less than 1,000 tons are even rarer. Compared with China’s huge coal production and imports, China’s coal exports are basically negligible, and the impact of Sino-US trade frictions on my country’s coal exports is also negligible." Chen Xiaohan said.

In terms of the coal downstream consumer market, in terms of steel, the amount of steel exported directly from my country to the United States has shown a downward trend in recent years. "Relevant data shows that in 2017, China exported 1.18 million tons of steel to the United States, accounting for only 1.6% of China’s total exports of 75 million tons of steel that year. The impact on the consumption of coking coal was only 1.2 million tons. In terms of the annual output of more than 1 billion tons of raw coal, the impact is minimal.” Chen Xiaohan said that in terms of downstream thermal coal, the US tariffs on products include aviation products, modern railways, new energy vehicles and high-tech products in 1,300 categories. It is estimated that the impact on domestic electricity consumption is 96 billion kWh, which is equivalent to about 40 million tons of thermal coal, accounting for only 1.0% of the country's 3.75 billion tons of coal consumption in 2017, and its impact on the thermal coal market is relatively limited.

Chen Xiaohan believes that the impact of Sino-US trade frictions on China's coal market is relatively small compared to the impact of national policies on capacity reduction, capacity replacement, import coal restrictions, and safety and environmental inspections on coal supply and demand. The space left by the reduction in U.S. imports will be made up by domestic companies and imported products from other countries.

This article is transferred from China Business News Network

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