China’s government will cap coal imports this year at 2018 levels, four sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Tuesday, to support domestic producers.
The world’s biggest coal consumer imported 281.23 million tonnes of coal in 2018 including thermal coal, coking coal and anthracite.
However, domestic output has also increased and is set to rise by an extra 100 million tonnes this year, an official said on Tuesday.
Three of the sources were told by provincial-level customs officials to restrict their imports in 2019 to no more than 2018 levels. A fourth source, an official with a government-affiliated body who was familiar with the import policy, said the decision was made by China’s State Council.
Shipments from top supplier Australia had already slowed sharply because of lengthy checks at customs.