Coal

  • China's coal industry will continue to suffer excess capacity problems in the next 5 years, and that its economic growth still depends heavily on coal resources, the China National Coal Association said. Coal-rich Shanxi province and Inner Mongolia have introduced policies to aid local coal producers amid dire conditions since the beginning of this year.
  • The spot price for 5,500kcal coal dropped by 10 yuan to 545 yuan/ton in Qinhuangdao in the week through August 25, JPMorgan said its China/Hong Kong Daily Views report. Coal freights from Qinhuangdao to eastern & southern China, a barometer of domestic demand, rose 7% and 16% in the week. With signs of restocking, JPMorgan believed the coal market should soon enter the off-peak season in September and October.
  • China's thermal coal inventories at Bohai Rim ports rose 1% week on week to 20.9 million tons as of August 16, and coking coal inventories fell 1% 7.56 million tons as of August 16, according to Mysteel.com.
  • China produced 2.13 billion tons of coal and sold 2.07 billion tons in the first 7 months of 2013, down 3.5% and 3.9% respectively from the same period a year ago, according to the China National Coal Association. Fixed-asset investments in the industry also fell, down 1.6% year on year to 259 billion yuan during the 7 months. The association said that coal producers were suffering rising operating expenses and sharp profit drops.

Cement
China's cement price remained stable week on week in the week through August 18 and is expected to remain so into September when the high season begins, CCB International said in its China Cement Weekly report. Cement prices rose by 10-30 yuan/ton in Jiangxi and Jiangsu and fell by 10-20 yuan/ton in Beijing and Guizhou during the week. Cement inventory went up 0.7 percentage points to 58.5% in eastern China, the lowest level nationwide, while high inventory levels above 70% remained a concern in northeastern, northern, central and southwestern China.

Metals
China's output of refined copper totaled 534,600 tons in July, down 6% month on month and up 11.2% year on year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The smallest monthly amount since February was due to less supply of copper scrap. Refined copper imports rose 5% month on month and 15% year on year to 291,800 ton in July, according to customs figures.

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