April 3, 2018 / 10:22 AM / 8 months ago

China's Luoyan port bans coal imports temporarily from April 1: government notice

BEIJING (Reuters) - The eastern Chinese province of Fujian has temporarily banned foreign coal imports into the small port of Luoyan from April 1, according to a government notice reviewed by Reuters, the latest move to curb imports of the fuel.

The notice, issued by the city of Fuzhou in Fujian where the port is located, said the ban is aimed at curbing coal imports, but it did not give a reason.

A provincial government official who asked to remain unidentified confirmed the notice was authentic and said it was not part of a wider port crackdown on imports.

China’s General Administration of Customs did not respond to requests for comment.

The ban may boost domestic thermal coal prices even as demand wanes following the end of the winter heating season, one of the busiest periods of the year for the nation’s coal-fired power plants, said a Beijing-based coal trader.

Thermal coal futures on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange closed down 1.64 percent on Tuesday at 564 yuan ($89.77) per tonne. Earlier in the session, they fell to 562 yuan, their lowest since November.

In December, China temporarily halted coal imports at some small ports by delaying customs clearance after the total import volume exceeded an unofficial government target, two trade sources said in January.

Reporting by Meng Meng and Josephine Mason; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

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