09-06-2022 Ongoing Weakness in Chinese Coal Imports; Iron Ore and Soybean Imports Faring Better, Commodore Research
China imported 92.5 MMT of iron ore in May. This marks a month-on-month increase of 6.4 MMT (7%) and is up year-on-year by 2.7 MMT (3%). We continue to stress, there remains a very good chance that imports will climb higher in the second half of this year as iron ore port stockpiles continue to decline and as Brazilian and Australian iron ore production remain poised to undergo seasonal strength.
China imported 20.5 MMT of coal in May. This marks a month-on-month decline of 3.1 MMT (-13%) and is down year-on-year by 500,000 tons (-2%). We continue to stress there remains a very good chance that coal imports will contract on a year-on-year basis this year. China’s domestic coal production has continued to fare much better than thermal coal-derived electricity generation (even before coronavirus issues started to impact thermal coal-derived electricity generation this year).
China imported 9.7 MMT of soybeans in May. This marks a month-on-month increase of 1.6 MMT (20%) and is up year-on-year by 100,000 tons (1%). Going forward, we expect that China’s soybean imports will continue to grow on a year-on-year basis. Chinese soybean consumption and demand are improving, and the overall prospects for global soybean harvests have also continued to turn more bullish in recent months.