Growth of China’s coke production is expected to slow down to 5% in 2012 from the 11.8% in 2011 due to factors such as decreasing crude steel output growth, rising coke production cost, and increasing losses for coking companies in the period 2011-2015 (the12th Five Year Plan).

Despite this, total coke output is expected to reach 450mt in 2012, compared to 427Mt in 2011. Growth in output has shown a decline since the last quarter of 2011

According to statistics by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), coke output of China dropped 7% or 8.08Mt to 100Mt in the last quarter of 2011. Monthly output bottomed at 6mt in November 2011 as compared to a peak of 32Mt in February in the same year.

China exceeded Japan to become the largest coal importer in the world in 2011. According to statistics released by the General Administration of Customs, the country’s coal imports increased 11% year-on-year to 1824Mt in 2011, outstripping the 1752Mt for Japan, which were 51% less than in the previous year.

Output of the top three coal-consuming industries in the country, namely thermal power generation, crude steel, and cement, grew 13.9%, 9.8%, and 17.2% year-on-year 2011, respectively, which greatly drove up coal demand in China.

Statistics showed that coal consumption in power sector rose 11.4% y-o-y in 2011, that in steel sector increased by 6.8%, that in building materials was up 7.4% and in chemical industry up 13.5%.

Source: China Metals e-mail